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Freshwater Monster Fish

Updated on April 30, 2011


Size: Weighing up to 8.2ft and over 220 pounds

Where it lives: Amazon River Basin in South America

Diet: Birds, Fish, and any other animal they can catch

The Arapaima is a very popular source of food for people in south america, and also very popular for sport fishing. Arapaima are hard to find at huge sizes nowadays, as they are coming close to being extinct in some parts of the Amazon River.


Wels Catfish

 Size: They can reach up to 10 feet and weigh 330 pounds, but they rarely do. Even larger wels have been reported, but the reports are not valid.

Where it lives: Slow moving rivers, and lakes in centeral, southern, eastern Europe.

Diet: They mainly eat worms, smaller fish and insects. Bigger ones can also eat mammals. Some have been reported to attack humans, but those reports have not been confirmed.

The wels can live up to 30 years, and have extremely good hearing. It is scale-less and can live in brackish water or freshwater.

Wels Catfish
Wels Catfish

Giant Freshwater Stingray

Size: Can reach up to 16.5 feet and wigh over 1,200 pounds.

Where it lives: Commonly found in rivers in Thailand, it can also live in Malaysian and Indonesian rivers.

Diet: They usually eat clams and crabs, sometimes fish. They detect an animal's presence through an electric field.

The 15 inch barb on the tail can easily penetrate flesh and bone, as easy as an arrow can. They have been quite recently discovered, little about them is known. They have become a prized catch for fishermen, but are mainly endangered because of habitat loss.

Giant Freshwater Stingray
Giant Freshwater Stingray

Alligator Gar

 Size: Rare and large alligator gar can be 8 to 10 feet long and weighing around 200 to even 300 pounds.

Where it lives: North American Rivers, mostly in the south. Some have even been found in mexico.

Diet: The Alligator Gar ambushes prey. It eats mostly fish, and sometimes small mammals. Attacks on humans have been reported, but none have been confirmed.

The Alligator Gar has two rows of sharp teeth on its bill, enabling them to give a fierce bite and hold their prey. Alligator gar can live 75 years or longer.

Alligator Gar
Alligator Gar

Nile Perch

Size: Can be up to 6 feet and weigh over 400 pounds.

Where it lives: Many African rivers, and some African river Basins

Diet: Fish and small shrimp

The Nile Perch is one on the world's 100 worst invasive species. They are a great importance as food fish. Many sport fishermen also seek to catch the Nile Perch.

Nile Perch
Nile Perch

Red-Bellied Piranha

Size: They have a mazimum length of 13 inches and can weight 8 pounds.

Where it lives: Mostly in the Amazon River Basin of Brazil, but they can be found in other rivers of South America.

Diet: They hunt in large shoals usually eating fish, crustaceans and worms. Sometimes they feed on dead, dying or injured animals in the water. They have also been known to attack smaller, healthy animals too.

The piranha has been featured in many movies, being portrayed as 'monster fish', but truly they are timid scavengers. The amazing teeh of the piranha can cut flesh from bone in seconds.

Althpugh they don't kill people, they have abilities to eat drowned human bodies of the Amazon river without hesitation.

Red-Bellied Piranha
Red-Bellied Piranha

Chinese paddlefish

 Size: Some say it could possibly reach 23 feet and 1,100 pounds, but due to their rarity- their maximum size is unknown.

Where it lives: China's Rivers, mostly the yangtze.

Diet: They eat mostly smaller fish, but their overall diet is unknown.

The paddle fish is on the critically endangered species list, and one has not been seen in the wild since 2003. Some people fear this fearsome fish is already extict. A dam had been created between where the fish normally lives, and its spawning grounds. More projects like this will threaten the species even more.

Chinese Paddlefish
Chinese Paddlefish

Mekong Catfish

Size: Up to 10 feet long and weighing 650 pounds.

Where it lives: Asia's Mekong River

Diet: They are toothless, and live off the river's plants and algae.

This Giant fish is pretty much on the brink of extinction in some parts of the Mekong River. Many places have tried to ban Mekong fishing, but that is almost impossible due to the small villages.

Mekong Catfish
Mekong Catfish

European Sturgeon (Beluga sturgeon)

Size: Today 'big ones' are caught at about 10 feet long weighing almost 600 pounds.

Where it lives: The caspian and black sea basins of Europe

Diet: Mostly Fish

Beluga caviar is considered a caviar delicascy worldwide, but it is rare to find and very expensive. These fish can live to even 100 years, and can continue growing throughout their life.

Beluga sturgeon, European Sturgeon
Beluga sturgeon, European Sturgeon

Candiru Catfish

Size: 6 inches Long

Where it Lives: Amazon River

Diet: It is a parasite catfish living on other organisms blood, usually sticking on to other fishes' gills to feed.

The Candiru is possibly the most feared fish in the amazon. This fish has been proven to swim up the urine system, as this fish is attracted to urine and blood in the water... The only way for it to be removed is by surgery. It's a disgusting little fish- a true horror.


Goliath Tigerfish

 Size: It can be as long as 5 feet and weigh as much as 154 pounds.

Where it lives: This fish is  native of the Congo River basin, the Lualaba River, Lake Upemba and Lake Tanganyika of Africa.

Diet: This fish has amazing teeth- built for chomping chunks out of crocodiles, fish, and pretty much anything it can find.

There have been reports of this fish biting humans, but those are not confirmed. This fish loves to wait and ambush in fast-moving turbulent waters, just waiting for easy-to-catch  less powerful fish to come by.

Goliath Tigerfish
Goliath Tigerfish


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    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Nice over view of some river monsters!

    • onthegrind profile image


      6 years ago from Florida, United States

      This was an interesting read and the pictures were great. I have never heard of many of those creatures. Some of them are truly prehistoric looking. Amazing what is out there in the water.

    • PADDYBOY60 profile image


      6 years ago from Centreville Michigan

      Very nice hub. Very informative. Thanks.

    • FishAreFriends profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Colorado

      :( accidently removed the votes, I was going to edit them because I added some new, creepy fish... Sorry!

    • FishAreFriends profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Colorado

      Thanks :)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting (and scary!). Thanks so much for sharing. I voted for the aligator gar! :)

    • FishAreFriends profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Colorado

      Thank you so much for all your wondeful comments! I think the most monster-like would be the gar, because of its giant set of sharp teeth.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      I'd never be able to catch one of these. Wow! I didn't know fish got this big.

    • DTroth profile image

      Diana Owens 

      7 years ago from My Little Hole In The Wall, HubPages, USA

      Fantastic Hub, Fish!

      I have never even heard of 6 of these fish. The only ones I already knew were the Beluga Sturgeon, the Red-Bellied Piranha, and the Alligator Gar. Either way...I wouldn't want to run into ANY of them while swimming in a river! ...jeeez. They're crazy huge!

      Now I'll probably have nightmares about giant 'feesh' swallowing me whole! hee hee (:

      Thanks for taking the time to teach the rest of us about these monster fish.

      I look forward to reading more from you!


      P.S. I picked the Arapaima as the most monster-like. It was a tough decision, but the fact that it eats pretty much anything that wanders too close to its mouth is what clinched it for me! Well, that, and the snake-like head it has. Creepy lookin' feesh. (:


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