What is the biggest freshwater fish in the world?


Oceans, seas, rivers and lakes, even small ponds - the entire hydrosphere of the Earth is a wonderful world, mostly hidden from prying eyes. The bottom of many reservoirs is practically not studied, but we cannot deny that complete freedom and weightlessness reigns there. Endless expanses, coral reefs, underwater waterfalls, smart dolphins, deadly jellyfish, luminescent microorganisms - the wonders that the oceans harbor.

Not only large seas, but also rivers with lakes also amaze with the grandeur and diversity of flora and fauna. Here there is everything your heart desires: small minnows that easily fit in a small child’s hand, and very real giants, which are difficult for even several men to raise. Such fish are able to give odds to sharks.

This article will describe the most real masters of the water element: TOP-10 of the largest freshwater fish in the world. Interesting? Then read on!


What is the biggest freshwater fish? Her name is beluga. This is a representative of the sturgeon family, one of the most amazing on the planet. Archaeological studies have shown that Beluga appeared about 190 million years ago and lived on Earth along with dinosaurs and crocodiles. Beluga can rightfully claim the title “The biggest freshwater fish in the world”. This is incredible, but the length of the largest of all caught individuals was as much as 7.4 meters, and the weight reached one and a half tons! For comparison: the polar bear weighs about 850 kg.


This is the world's largest freshwater fish found in the Azov, Caspian and Black Sea, goes to spawn in many large rivers about once every 3 years. The female spawns in April – May, lays from 300 thousand to 7 million eggs.

Beluga caviar has a black color and is considered the most valuable of all sturgeon. For this reason, huge fish become desirable prey for poachers. Their mass fishing is prohibited by the state. Unfortunately, in recent times the number of the species has decreased markedly. At the IWC, this world's largest freshwater fish has an “endangered” status.

To date, beluga artificially bred not only in the territory of the Russian Federation, but also in other countries. Perhaps such a measure will help increase the number of the species and the beluga will not disappear in the coming years.

The largest freshwater fish in the world lives on average 100 years, puberty in males occurs at 12-14 years, and in females at 16-18. Beluga is a predator. It feeds mainly on small fish and mollusks, especially large specimens do not disdain even seals. Usually inhabits very deep water in reservoirs with a strong current. Despite the fact that the beluga is an independent species, it can hybridize with sturgeon, sterlet, thorn, sturgeon. As a result of this practice, viable hybrids were obtained, in particular, beluga sterlet (Bester). Sturgeon hybrids are successfully grown in pond farms.

Now you know what is the biggest freshwater fish in the world. Photos of beluga are in the article.


Freshwater fish from the sturgeon family. Inhabits the Amur River. The population has declined significantly due to unlimited Chinese fishing. Sometimes the fish reaches 5 meters and weighs 1200 kilograms. Kaluga is a predator; in the absence of food, it practices cannibalism. The Russian Red Book states that in nature there are only a few thousand mature individuals. Industrial fishing has been banned in the Russian Federation since 1958. In China, it is legalized.


White sturgeon

It is the largest freshwater fish in North America. Together with the beluga and kaluga, it represents the sturgeon family, striking in its enormous size. A huge fish has an elongated slim body, the scales are absent.


The largest copy weighed about 800 kilograms and had a length of more than 6 meters. It lives in fresh waters of the USA and Canada. It prefers large and medium rivers with weak currents.

Bull Shark or Stupor Shark

It is the largest freshwater fish in South America, Africa and Australia. The life of an individual lasts about 30 years.

It is an extremely aggressive predator. One of the few species of sharks that feel comfortable in both salt and fresh water. The length of this fish - 3.5 m, weight - 450 kg. It is inhabited by a bull shark in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean. The Australian Brisbane River is inhabited by a population of about 500 individuals. The female bears a cub of 10-11 months, after which it leaves him forever.

This species, along with the tiger, white and long-winged shark, is the leader in the number of attacks on humans. Currently, there are 26 fatal cases.

Giant Mekong catfish and common catfish

These two species shared the 5th place. The rivers and lakes of Thailand are considered to be the home of the giant Mekong catfish. It is the largest species among its kindred, and for this reason it is often considered and studied separately from the rest. The body length of the fish reaches 4.5-5.0 meters, weight - up to 300 kg. Fish and small animals are a favorite treat of the giant catfish.


The common catfish has a body length of up to 5 meters and weighs up to 350 kg. Inhabits water bodies of the European part of Russia, as well as eastern and central Europe.

Nile perch

Distributed throughout tropical Africa. The maximum length of one individual is 200 cm, weight - 200 kg. It is a predator that feeds on fish and crustaceans. Carries his fry in the mouth. It helps them survive and increases the population.


Considered an Amazon river monster. For the first time by European scientists, it was noticed in the early 19th century. However, they still could not study all the features of this fish.


Arapayma able to use atmospheric air as the main source of oxygen. This feature allows it to be a universal predator and hunt not only fish, but also other animals, including birds. In length arapaymy grow up to 3 meters, their weight is 150-190 kg.

Indian carp

Inhabits the waters of India and Thailand. It prefers quiet standing water. On average, it grows up to 180 cm and weighs 150 kg. Eats small fish, small crustaceans and worms. Distributed almost throughout Europe, is found in Asia. Its weight usually does not exceed 30 kg, the largest registered carp weighed 70 kg.


Inhabits the waters of the eastern United States. In length it grows up to 180-220 cm, weight reaches 90 kg. In the seventies of the last century was introduced to the territory of the USSR. Since then, it began to breed in the Crimea.


Common Taimen

The largest and oldest fish from the salmon family. Distributed in the eastern part of Russia and Siberia. Loves cold and fast rivers. Taimen - a large representative of the salmon family, reaches 1.5-2.0 m in length and weighs more than 60 kg. It is a dangerous predator. It feeds on fish.

Russia's largest freshwater fish

The list of the largest species found in freshwater bodies of our country looks like this:

  • Beluga.
  • Kaluga
  • Common catfish
  • Taimen.
  • Carp.

All of the above fish have been described in this article.

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