Wel's catfish

Wels catfish

The wels catfish is one of the largest freshwater fish. It can weigh over 150kg, that's the same as two adult people.

Wels catfish, Silurus glanis

Wels catfish, Silurus glanis

It was THIS big!

The wels catfish (Silurus glanis) is an enormous freshwater fish that lives in warm lakes and sluggish rivers. It has slippery greenish-brownish skin with a pale-coloured belly.

What makes this fish remarkable is its size. It's one of the largest freshwater fish, growing up to 3m long and can weigh up to 150kg, that's the same as two adult people.

Most of them are a little more dainty, but they're still whoppers. Being a metre and a half long is quite normal for a wels catfish, and if you caught one in a UK lake, it would probably weigh about 27kg. That's about the size of a child.

Big mouth strikes again

These fish have enormous mouths to go with their weighty bodies. They gulp down worms and other creepy-crawlies that live in or near the water, as well as eating smaller fish. The larger ones also swallow frogs, water rats and water birds like ducks.

Some other whoppers

There are other big fish in the ponds and lakes of the world. Here are some of the biggest:

  • The Arapaima can grow as long as 4.5m and can weigh a hefty 200kg.
  • The Chinese paddlefish that lives in the Yangtze River can reach about 3m and weigh a gigantic 300kg.
  • The mekong giant catfish grows at an amazing rate and can reach a weight of 200kg in only six years.