Catfish, Chaophraya (Pangasius Sanitwongsei)
The Chaophraya Catfish also known as the ‘Dog eating Catfish’ is a predatory freshwater monster fish native to the Chaophraya and Mekong basins in Thailand. The Chaophraya Catfish is a member of the Pangasiidae (sharks and catfishes) family of fish predates on small fish, crustaceans and even animal carcasses.
The predatory Chaophraya catfish has a smooth scale-less body resembling that of a shark with a wide flat head which is devoid of whiskers. The Chaophraya Catfish has dark grey pectoral, dorsal and pelvic fins with the first soft ray extended to form an elongated filament giving the Chaophraya Catfish a highly distinctive appearance with its dorsal fin extending as much as 40cm above its back.
The Chaophraya Catfish is a voracious freshwater monster fish which inhabits the upper layers of some of the wildest rivers of Thailand. The Chaophraya Catfish in Thailand actively hunts live prey fish in the upper layers where it engulfs prey fish with its huge and cavernous mouth which is equipped with coarse grasping pads.
Very little is known scientifically about the mighty Chaophraya Catfish although the Chaophraya Catfish is believed to spawn just prior to the monsoon.
The Chaophraya Catfish has been mentioned throughout the ages in Thailand’s colourful history. In past times fishing for this monster fish species by the local inhabitants was accompanied by religious ceremonies and rites.
Sadly, at the time of writing the Chaophraya Catfish in Thailand is critically endangered in its wild range of the Mekong and Chaophraya basins with examples of this highly endangered Thailand mega fish species becoming very rare indeed in the wild.
In 2009 a confirmed report from Northern Thailand told of a pair of Chaophraya Catfish (male and female) which were caught in local fisherman’s nets and unfortunately died. National Geographic Explorer Dr. Zeb Hogan reported the larger fish as to weighing an incredible ninety six kg’s on this unfortunate occasion.
The Thai government in recent years has initiated an emergency re-stocking program which is trying to reverse the precarious position of the Chaophraya Catfish and other critically endangered Mega Fish in Thailand.
The Chaophraya Catfish is one of the world’s ultimate Megafish which is critically endangered in its wild and natural range of the Chaophraya and Mekong River basins.
Although this amazing Thai Mega fish is threatened in its natural habitat the Chaophraya Catfish has thrived in the commercial fishing lakes of Thailand.
The awesome Chaophraya Catfish is present in various freshwater fishing lakes throughout Thailand where it has thrived reaching gigantic record breaking weights and giving anglers great satisfaction and enjoyment