Rare Giant Catfish Signals Hope for Species
The endangered Mekong giant catfish can be as big as a grizzly bear. One was just caught and released.
A group of Cambodian fishermen caught quite a surprise earlier this month: a massive Mekong giant catfish, the first one seen in the country in a year.
Caught near Phnom Penh, the fish was nearly seven feet long and weighed an estimated 200 to 250 pounds (90 to 114 kilograms), says Zeb Hogan, a fish biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno who examined and tagged the fish.
“It wasn’t that big for a Mekong giant catfish, but it was still larger than any catfish caught in North America over the past century,” says Hogan, who is also a National Geographic Explorer and the host of Nat Geo WILD’s Monster Fish show.
The largest known catfish in North America was