Yes, whales are indeed the biggest fish of them all, but what comes second after whales? It turns out that the next biggest fishes can be found in ponds, rivers and also lakes.
One distinct difference between freshwater and ocean fishes is the salinity of the water itself. Seawater fishes can withstand a high amount of salts in the water.
Now when we talk about big, these fishes are giants of the lakes. You might not even recognize them because they don’t swim in shallow waters.
The fact that they have a heavy and massive body weight as well as length, makes them the monsters of the lakes. These fishes would swim at the very bottom of the waters and become a predator.
These biggest freshwater fishes would sweep from one side of the lake or river to the other to find food.
- Nile Perch
First of all, when it comes to gigantic animals, there will always be detrimental effects. Whether it is a positive one or a negative, this Nile perch is a predator of freshwaters. It would gulp any small creatures on its way and eat at huge amounts every day.
Sooner or later, the Nile perch had caused a spike of decrease for other fish populations. While others decrease in numbers, the Nile perch keeps on gaining weight and population.
This fish is now popular for fishing sports and is now being commercially caught. Its big-sized meat that is also bone-free has made it the locals of Africa’s favorite. Nowadays, this fish could easily be bought in wet markets.
Known to be the “River Wolf” of the freshwater, these animals hunt similarly to an ordinary wolf. Taimens will scavenge and search for food in packs or a group of taimens.
Its main diets are fish, but they also love to eat rats, birds, and even beavers. Due to its size of almost 2 meters, ordinary fishing rods won’t be useful to catch this fish.
It is also considered a longest-living animal, that is why this fish can be large.
It looks like a duck, with a swordfish combined. The paddlefish has a snout that is long and shaped like a paddle, that is where it gets its name from.
This animal, unlike others, would dig for food instead of hunt. It would use the paddle like a mouth to dig the ground deep below the water.
A paddlefish would scavenge for food instead of hunt, which means that it would try to find vegetation such as seaweed and other sea plants.
- Bull Shark
This next animal is a deep-sea creature that could live in both freshwater and saltwater. So don’t expect lakes and rivers to be a safe place, because this is one of the fastest swimming animals and would come at you any second.
The bull shark is also an aggressive animal, and there have been numerous cases of shark attacks on humans.
A collector’s favorite fish, this fish has a lot of value to freshwater fish collectors. This population of this fish is highly threatened at critically endangered status.
They are often caught and traded across collectors and pet owners. The arapaima is people’s choice of exotic animals as pets. Arapaimas could be found across Asia but it is native to the Amazon River.
They only swim in shallow waters, that is why fishermen can spot this fish easily. With the weight of almost 2 people combined, it would take more than 1 person to catch this fish.
- Mekong Giant Catfish
Yes, the word giant may indeed be overused in this article, but bear with me. This giant catfish weighs almost 300 kilograms and almost 3 meters long.
It would sweep across the Mekong Delta river and eat anything on its way. This catfish could only be found in the Mekong river of Vietnam.
The people surrounding the areas took advantage of this and starts hunting these giant catfishes. The meat of this catfish is delicious and boneless due to its size. The population quickly declined due to overfishing.
- Giant Freshwater Stingray
Down below in the waters of South East Asia, there is a stingray that weighs up to half a ton swimming around the rivers. People even claim to see a heavier stingray that weighs up to 600 kilograms and a length of up to 3 meters.
This one fish is something that fishermen would avoid. This is because of the strength and capabilities that the fish has.
A giant freshwater stingray is a venomous animal and has a barb-like tail that is used to sting. It could easily penetrate skin and bones and will attack if it feels threatened.
- Beluga Sturgeon
We saved the best for last. Not only known for its size of a ton, and a length of 4 meters, this animal is expensive. It produces roe, or eggs that are worth as expensive as gold. Humans eat caviar as a delicacy and fishes this fish for its roe instead of meat.
This fish is also a long-living animal with a life span of 100 years. Besides that, beluga sturgeon is a euryhaline animal, this means that it can survive in both freshwater and saltwater.
So that’s it for today, we have presented you with the 8 biggest freshwater fish. To learn more about fishes, read on about Earth’s aquatic mammals.