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Wels catfish


Scaleless, slimy, ready to nab any unsuspecting fish, pigeon or duck loitering near the banks, silures (Wels catfish) are the monsters of the rivers, haunting the depths of the Rhône, Loire, Seine, Lot, Tarn, Garonne, and Saône.

Native to central, southern, and eastern Europe, Wels catfish, the biggest freshwater fish, were introduced in France as a sport fish. Every summer local papers tell of the huge ones someone landed. They can swim backwards and live up to 70 years.

In 2017, a silure in the river Tarn was caught measuring 2.74m, although the current world record, measuring 2.8m was caught in the Po in Italy in March 2021. Unfortunately they taste awful.

Fish and seafood

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Haplochromis on Wikimedia Commons