Top 10 Largest Freshwater Fish

Largest Freshwater Fish
Photo by Siegella

The ocean is not the only place one can find the Behemoth fish—giant fish lives beneath the deep waters of our freshwater rivers and lakes.

While most freshwater fish are smaller than their saltwater counterparts, some can grow to be quite large.

Here are some of the world’s largest freshwater fish, ranging from bull sharks to giant stingrays.

1. Bull Sharks

Bull sharks are coastal sharks that live in subtropical waters worldwide. However, They can grow more than 11 feet, but most are only six to seven and a half feet long.

Bull sharks are one of the shark species that can survive in freshwater for extended periods, making them more often come into contact with humans than other sharks.

Bull sharks are aggressive species that can attack humans, and human interaction and development near their habitats have made them vulnerable.

2. The Siberian Taimen

Siberian taimen is the biggest species in the salmon family, found in freshwater rivers and lakes in Russia, Mongolia, and Central Asia.

It lives a long time and grows slowly, reaching maturity lengths of up to six feet. The Siberian taimen is a powerful predator that feeds on rodents and birds.

The Siberian taimen is considered helpless, with a declining population due to pollution and poaching fishing.

3. White Sturgeon

The white sturgeon is easily North America’s largest freshwater fish, an impressive 12 to 20 feet long and roughly a ton.

 It’s a fish that hasn’t changed in appearance for 175 million years. White sturgeon resides in rivers, streams, estuaries, and the ocean along the West Coast of North America, all the way up to the Aleutian Islands.

There is an annual upriver migration for spawning, and they can live for 80 to 100 years. A favorite target for anglers because of their size, white sturgeon are state Species of Special Concern in California.

4. Nile Perch

The Nile perch remains the largest freshwater fish in Africa, found only in the continent’s tropical lakes and rivers.

They can develop up to six feet in the wild, although the average size is two and a half to three feet long. It resembles a barramundi in appearance.

The Nile perch has become a harmful invasive species in many non-native lakes due to its appeal among anglers. In Lake Victoria, the introduction of the Nile perch has resulted in the demise of over 200 native species.

5. Paddlefish

The Chinese and American paddlefish are the only two species still living. Five- to seven-footers typically weigh around 60 pounds and are rather large.

The largest of the two paddlefish species, the Chinese paddlefish, is critically endangered and may go extinct.

Overfishing and habitat mortification are the main threats to these fish living in the Yangtze River.

Once found in the Great Lakes in Canada, American paddlefish are now only found in the Mississippi River basin. 1112 In the wild, they can live for 30 years.

The paddle-shaped snouts of these giants are easily recognizable, and they are harmless filter-feeders that only open their mouths to capture zooplankton.

6. Giant Barb

If you’re looking for a monster fish, go no further than Southeast Asia’s King of Fish—the enormous barb. Adults of this species of barbs are under five feet in length.

In conclusion, Giant barbs are completely harmless despite their enormous size. Algae, phytoplankton, and berries are some of their favorite foods.

Overfishing and habitat destruction have put the giant barb in jeopardy.

7. Alligator Gar

These predatory fish can survive in fresh and saltwater thanks to a pair of giant teeth and an alligator-like snout. Statistics show that an alligator gar can grow to 10 feet and weigh 350 pounds.

Few natural predators threaten its long lifespan of up to 50 years. In the bottom of the Mississippi River basin and the Gulf Coast states, these fish can reach the surface or amid reeds where they can hunt and ambush food that they eat, dead or alive. They also eat squid.

8. Arapaima

These enormous fish, found in the Amazon, are as old as the river they live in.

Arapaima, also popularly known as pirarucu in Brazil and paiche in Peru, have been around since the Miocene era and are considered living fossils by many scientists.

However, Due to overfishing, arapaima is currently just six feet long and 275 pounds in weight, rather than the 10 feet and 300 pounds they were formerly capable of.

Without water, these fish can survive for up to 24 hours. They reside in Brazil, Peru, and Guyana.

9. Giant Freshwater Stingray

Scientists discovered the enormous stingray, one of the world’s largest freshwater species, in the 1990s.

They can grow to gigantic sizes, with some exceeding 1,300 pounds and nearly 15 feet across—the length of a bus.

However, In addition to moving boats up and down rivers, they can pull them into the water.

It has a jagged spike that can pierce bone and inject venom in its 15-inch tail, found in the rivers of Southeast Asia.

Fishing and habitat destruction have put the enormous freshwater stingray in jeopardy.

10. Beluga

The Black Sea and the Caspian Sea are home to the beluga sturgeon species. The beluga may be the world’s largest freshwater fish because they expand throughout their lives (up to 100 years).

A few of the world’s largest belugas have been found that was 24 feet long and weighed over 3,500 pounds, putting them in for the title of largest bony fish.

Freshwater rivers are where beluga lays the egg. in conclusion,begula spends its adult life in the sea before returning to the river to spawn.

Females are sexually mature when they are 15 years old. As the number of belugas diminishes, it is highly endangered.

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