Monday, August 29, 2005

World's Largest Freshwater Fish

For those intrigued by such things, this recent NY Times article discussed the leading candidates for the world's largest freshwater fish. (You'll need to register to read it...but it's worth it.) At the top of the list is the giant catfish of the Mekong River in Southeast Asia - an example weighing in at 646 pounds was caught in its waters in May.

Other freshwater giants in the running include such primeval beasts as sturgeon, gars, lungfish, gars, stingrays, paddlefish, and the Amazon's arapaima, which can reach 15 feet in length. Zeb Hogan, the biologist quoted in the article, says his personal favorites for largest freshwater fish are the Chinese paddlefish, found in the Yangtze River, and the giant stingray, which roams the Mekong along with those monster catfish. (I had no idea stingrays were found in freshwater...much less ones over 13 feet long.)

As for me, the largest fish I ever caught was a fat orange carp in my Grandpa's farm pond, which if memory serves was somewhere around 12 pounds. After that's, it probably a tie between a lake trout from Cayuga Lake and a Northern pike from Saranac Lake, both in upstate New York, tied at 8 pounds or so apiece. Nothing close to 646 pounds, but oh well, I tried. If you've got a big fish story of your own, feel free to post it in the comments!