Here is another weird colored channel catfish caught by my dad while we were fishing for flatheads on the Schuylkill river in philly. At first we thought it was a flathead because of the color before really looking at it.
This is the coolest coloration I found of the channels I caught, this one was caught on the Potomac. This ones color is exactly like a Flathead it is really weird. +another random picture from the same day of another weird channel.
they all look like reg. "wild" channels to me....the ones were used to seeing in the hobby/trade are usually hybrids of channel/blue cats making them a bit lighter and as always water conditions/sunlight play a big role in coloration of wild fish. If they were truely melanistic theyd b jet black... or have patches of jet black on them not shades of brown. The 1st pic if definetly a channel cat... the 2nd 2 pics im not positive as theres another species on the east coast in ur area white bullhead that can be hard to tell apart that size range.