is a National Geographic explorer who heads the National Geographic society’s Megafish project tasked with identifying and protecting the world’s largest freshwater fishes.
Dr .Zeb Hogan has an undergraduate degree in ecology and evolutionary biology in addition to a PHD in ecology.
Zeb Hogan has also served at as a fulbright student at Chiang Mai University in Northern Thailand working on the Risk Assessment Program.
Dr.Zeb Hogan is also a fellow of the World Wildlife Fund and Wisconsin University and is possibly the worlds most experienced and respected expert concerning freshwater Giant fish in Thailand and other exotic countries of the world.
Dr.Zeb Hogan has contributed greatly to the scientific research of freshwater fishes throughout the world and has been involved in the conservation of various freshwater fish such as the Mekong Catfish in Thailand and the Taimen in Mongolia.
During the month early part of 2008 after swapping information and reporting a series of captures of Giant freshwater stingray (Himantura Chaophraya) it was agreed that National Geographic Explorer Dr.Zeb Hogan and National Geographic reporter Stefan Lovgren would join the Fishsiam team at the Ban Pakong River in Thailand.
After travelling the short distance from Bangkok to Chachoengsao province Zeb Hogan soon arrived at the Ban Pakong River to film an episode of Wild Chronicles for National Geographic channel.
The first days filming was a complete success and saw three individual Giant freshwater stingrays landed in the course of the days angling.
Dr.Zeb Hogan conducted a thorough scientific examination of each Giant stingray recording size, sex and various other scientific data.
The second day saw Dr.Zeb Hogan once again at the Ban Pakong River to witness a groundbreaking and miraculous Giant freshwater stingray birth.
After a grueling one and a half hour battle the Fishsiam team had landed a monster Giant Stingray estimated to weigh 160kg’s+.
The large female stingray which was observed to be heavily pregnant proceeded to give birth whilst being held at the riverside.
This miraculous and amazing event was expertly filmed by Stefan Lovgren as Dr.Zeb Hogan examined the newborn Giant freshwater stingray before releasing it with its mother back into the Ban Pakong River.
The first ever recorded Giant freshwater stingray birth in the wild was shown in a segment of Wild Chronicles hosted by Dr.Zeb Hogan and was aired on National Geographic channel.
The Giant stingray birth at the Ban Pakong River witnessed by Dr.Zeb Hogan was also reported on the National Geographic website in a story entitled Giant River Stingrays found near Thai City.
Giant Fish Helped by Fishing?
Another fishing expedition to Thailand by Dr.Zeb Hogan from National Geographic Society saw Zeb accompanying the Fishsiam team to the highly prolific IT Lake Monsters commercial fishery in Ratchaburi province.
With the abundance of both native and imported monster fish species present in the lake the visit was a fantastic opportunity for the National Geographic explorer to acquaint himself with the various monster fish in Thailand.
In a short half day fishing session Zeb Hogan watched the Fishsiam team land a succession of monster fish.
Fishing with livebaits resulted in a large haul of monster fish which included Zeb Hogan’s first encounter with a Dog Eating Catfish or Chaophraya Catfish.
Other exotic monster fish species that Zeb Hogan examined included Sorubim, Arowana, Redtail Catfish, Arapaima or Pirarucu.
National Geographic explorer Zeb Hogan also examined Alligator Gar and various Pacu species whilst fishing at IT Lake Monsters.
All events were expertly filmed by Stefan Lovgren and appeared on an internet based film entitled ‘Monster fish helped by Fishing?’ which can be seen on the National Geographic website.
Monster Fish in Thailand Giant Stingray.
After several smaller expeditions to Thailand in search of Giant freshwater stingrays (Himantura Chaophraya) National Geographic explorer Dr.Zeb Hogan once again returned to the Maeklong River in Samut Songkran.
The Monster Fish Giant stingray fishing trip had involved a great deal of advance planning and began in mid January 2008.
National Geographic explorer Zeb Hogan accompanied by Dean Johnson and the Infocus Asia TV production team based in Thailand hired the Fishsiam team for a two week period to film a show entitled Monster Fish Giant Stingray for NGC.
On arrival at the Maeklong River in Samut Songkran stingray fishing soon commenced with two small Giant freshwater stingrays landed on the first day to relatively low weights of 40-50kg’s.
Dr.Zeb Hogan conducted various scientific examinations of each giant stingray recording all measurements and scientific data.
The following few days saw stingrays landed on each day with stingrays to an estimated 100kg’s all caught in front of the cameras.
Dr.Zeb Hogan was joined by Dr.Nantaika Chansue from Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary research unit who assisted in various scientific procedures.
Several Giant Stingrays were surgically implanted with acoustic receivers in an attempt to track the stingray’s movements in the Maeklong River.
In addition numbered identification tags were also fitted to the stingrays to assist in instant visual identification.
Other groundbreaking scientific research conducted by Dr.Zeb Hogan and the scientists included the collection of tissue samples, DNA and the collection of toxicology samples from the venomous mucus located on the barb of the stingrays.
The collection of the toxicology samples from the barb of the stingrays was carefully stored for analysis in the Red Cross laboratories in Thailand with the intention of creating a vaccine to combat the effects of the toxic venom found on the barbs of Giant freshwater stingrays.
Dr.Zeb Hogan also made a short visit to the Samut Prakan wholesale fish market in search of Giant freshwater stingrays but failed to find the elusive fish.
Zeb Hogan found several other species of marine stingrays during his visit and various other freshwater species that he had previously encountered.
During the course of the filming of Monster fish Giant Stingray in Thailand the Fishsiam team hooked a monster giant stingray which they battled for almost three hours.
After bringing the stingray up off the bottom on numerous occasions the monster fish was brought to just below the surface revealing a massive Giant Stingray of well over two metres in width.
When it looked like stingray was almost ready for netting disaster struck seeing a large 9/0 Stainless steel hook snapped cleanly at the shank!
After already landing eight stingrays to approximately 100kg’s the Monster Fish in Thailand Giant Stingray expedition moved to the Ban Pakong River in Chachoengsao province near Bangkok.
After arriving at the Ban Pakong River the scene of many previous captures of large Giant freshwater stingray by the Fishsiam team stingray fishing once again began.
The first days fishing at the Ban Pakong River resulted in no stingrays landed but saw several baits retrieved that had been unmistakably crushed by Giant freshwater stingrays.
The second day of stingray fishing at the Ban Pakong River in Chachoengsao resulted in the capture of a small male giant stingray of an estimated 40kg’s in addition to the capture of a small Cow Tail Stingray which were released by Dr.Zeb Hogan.
With the fishing at the Ban Pakong River being extremely slow it was decided to fish for the stingrays for one last day in Chachoengsao.
The final day saw the Fishsiam team hook into a monster Giant freshwater stingray which we battled for over one and a half hours and was finally landed in the hours of darkness.
The monster Giant stingray was landed on the far bank of the river making weighing the giant stingray impossible.
After grounding the Giant Stingray on the muddy riverbank the stingray was observed to have a width of 1.85m’s and was estimated to weigh 185-190kg’s.
The Monster fish was released after capture whilst the National Geographic film crew captured all events.
The Monster fish Giant stingray expedition in Thailand continued with a visit to Nakon Sawan aquarium and saw Dr.Zeb Hogan swimming and feeding a Giant freshwater stingray whilst being filmed by Dean Johnson.
After finishing at the aquarium the expedition moved back to the Maeklong River at Samut Songkran and was joined by volunteer angler Dr.Ian Welch from the UK.
Stingray fishing continued for the following few days and saw four stingrays landed in a single days fishing on one occasion.
On the third days stingray fishing Dr.Ian Welch hooked a monster stingray whilst fishing on the Maeklong River which he battled for almost an hour.
The monster fish was finally netted and brought to the riverside to reveal what is undoubtedly the largest Giant freshwater stingray ever landed on rod and line!
The Giant freshwater stingray was measured at a width of 2.1m’s and displayed the deepest body we have ever witnessed on a Giant Stingray.
The monster fish was estimated to weigh in the region of 300kg’s and was found to be pregnant.
The Giant freshwater stingray was given an ultrasound examination which revealed that the monster fish was holding unborn young.
Due to the Giant stingrays pregnancy it was decided to release the monster fish without weighing what was clearly a world record breaking stingray.
The capture of the monster Giant stingray by Ian Welch during the filming of the Monster Fish Giant stingray show in Thailand hosted by Zeb Hogan for National Geographic is widely recognized as being the largest authenticated capture of a Giant Freshwater stingray in Thailand and the world and is also the largest freshwater fish ever caught on rod and line!
The capture of the mobster fish during the National Geographic show was heavily reported by the international press globally appearing in international media across the world.