Top 10 Largest Fish of Freshwater Habitats

Large fish have been a fear to mankind since they day they started eating humans. Fish get hungry and need to eat and sometimes humans come in between them and their prey. This list has been devoted to the largest of fish that live in freshwater habitat.

We have had many high ranking specialists add to this source and is in constant effort to improve. If you have any comments, jump into the conversation at the end of the page. Hopefully some of us aren’t too afraid to go swimming now…

10. Carp Fish

carp fishThe Carp species are found all around the world in freshwater and grow very large. A Thai fisherman caught the worlds largest carp fish at 260 pounds. That’s a large freshwater fish if you ask me! These fish are known as the garbage disposals of the lakes. Most fisherman actually hate them because they destroy populations of fish by simply sitting on the bottom and eating fish eggs before the fry is actually born. Killing huge amounts of fish.

9. Nile Perch

nile perch

The perch species of fish are commonly known to be extremely aggressive feeders and that might be their reason for excessive growth. This perch species roots from Africa and is where it’s name is derived from. If a lake has enough oxygen for this fish, it will most likely breed and infest that lake quickly. On the side note, it makes for a delicious meal spread across Africa.

8. Taimen Fish

Taimen Fish

These are commonly known as Russian Salmon and get to be very large. These guys are known to be very aggressive and even feed on their own kind. There are really no limits to what this fish will consume. Using their own kind to pack up like wolves to hunt other fish make it very easy to feast when desired. It’s simple to see why the “River Wolf” of freshwater is on our list today.

7. Catfish Species

record big catfish

The catfish is a bottom feeder and one of the best at what it does. There are records worldwide of these fish being recorded at 500 lbs and its ridiculous. The catfish has an elastic type body style which enables it to just keep growing. A large catfish might be 20 pounds to some and another could be 400 pounds. Quite a crazy fish to be able to be so adaptive in so many different habitats.

6. Paddlefish Species

Paddlefish bigThe first thing that comes to mind when seeing this fish is the idea of it being very aggressive with that snout. It’s paddle like mouth is very deceiving cosmetically because it is literally harmless to humans. Paddlefish are herbivores, making them only feed on plants. This species’a favorite plant to eat is algae. It is known to commonly achieve sizes of around 10 feet long. It’s name derives from a human used paddle used on boats because its snout looks like a paddle.

5. Bull Shark

largest bull sharkThe Bull Shark is thought of as the most dangerous shark to mankind known. Main reason, they dwell in shallow beaches and are super aggressive. Freshwater and brackish (lightly salted water) doesn’t stop this fish from finding its next prey. This very fast swimmer has lead to massive amounts of human deaths and it won’t stop. Anywhere from 6-8 feet is on average for this man hunter.

4. White Sturgeon

giant white sturgeonThis specific species of Sturgeon are known to grow to sizes of 20+ feet. If you can’t paint a picture.. That consists of a length for 4 different humans at 5 foot heights each. An 1800 lb sturgeon might scare you if you saw it under water. Considering they might be longer than the boat you are sitting in. To ease your rising fears, sturgeons are in fact herbivores and only feed on small algae and plants. They have no justice with humans what so ever.

**Update from Bill Wright on White Sturgeons:
The White Sturgeon diet information you’ve published, [ “To ease your rising fears, sturgeons are in fact herbivores and only feed on small algae and plants.”] doesn’t match what I know and have verified through “Wikipedia”. The White Sturgeon will pretty much eat what’s available. It is not a herbivore as your information has suggested. So, BE VERY AFRAID! Now you can relax, because their mouths are toothless and they don’t attack humans. So, it’s usually best to verify information unless of course, you wish to live in a world of fear, terror & lace of knowledge.

3. Alligator Gar

Alligator Gar fishThough these creatures are very scary looking, there really aren’t many attacks on humans reported in history. Kind of a weird tid bit to know, the eggs to these fish will kill humans if consumed. Not that you have a reason to eat them but just a fun fact to know. Most people guess these are prehistoric dinosaur like species that are suppose to be extinct. Because of their exotic physical appearance, they have been heavily fished and are now protected to save their species from extinction.

biggest stingray2. Stingray Species

The species is literally called “giant freshwater stingray” for a good reason. The 1,400 pounds should be a scary number for something to be swimming in our freshwater habitats. These things are huge and can be up to 17 feet wide. Who knows if you have stepped on a giant sting ray and never noticed. That’s around 8-9 humans worth just in weight alone. Most of these are found in Asia hit still lurk worldwide where freshwater exists.

1. Beluga Species

beluga fish recordThe Beluga is part of the sturgeon family and is number one on our list for a reason. Mostly found in parts of Asia, this fish gets up to 30 feet long and figures for weight are thrown around in the 6,000 pounds estimate. This isn’t the prettiest fish you have ever seen either. If you could imagine a gross, nasty freshwater bottom dweller of a fish.. this would be it. Number one for the largest freshwater fish goes to the Beluga species. If your not touched by these numbers, then I guess I’m the only one to be scared to go swimming now.

What do you think? Scarred?

Reply from Ricky H.
The only thing that scares me is the fact that I live around all of these creatures and they’re all prevalent in my country. And I must say that pretty much three times a week on summer vacation we go swimming in our lakes and to think that this kind of stuff is out there really scares me. You have to wonder what the odds are of getting attacked by something like this or if they’re just greater if you dying on a roller coaster. Do you guys think it’s anything worth worrying about or am I just being stupid and worrying too much.

Reply from Ryan K.
I’m pretty sure the odds of you dying from any of these are better if you are stricken by lightning. Because like five out of 10 of these fish on the list are not even harmful to people because they are herbivores like I said. So even though these creatures can get pretty big they’re probably not going to come after you because they only eat plants. And it seems the majority of the largest ones of all of them eat plants and just sit at the bottom so I’m guessing you will only step on them at the most.

What most people don’t understand is that these fish are more afraid of us and we are of them. We have brought aspects of things or variables into their lives that they would never expected. On a daily basis we are driving Motorcraft’s all over their living habitat and also tiny little hooks on invisible fishing line to catch them and eat them as a meal. These fish no we are bigger and more important in the animal chain and foodchain than they are. As of right now there is no threat from a freshwater fish basically to humans.

Now as soon as you start talking about marine water or ocean fish is totally different story. You might as well put your tail between your legs and run away to your closet and hide if you’re in a start talking about the ocean. You are such deep gaps that we have not even been able to see visually or you can get too. And yes there are species of animals that we don’t even know exist in these deep waters. Is nothing more scary than that to me and if you’re going to sit there and worry about what’s in the small lakes or freshwater rivers and it’s just it’s not even worth your time.

Reply from Keith S.
You say that with a lot of confidence that there’s nothing to worry about and freshwater rivers but I highly doubt that you thought about the Amazon River when you said that. A pack a red species Piranhas the size of frisbees could take you down in no time and take your body absolutely nothing within 20 minutes. When you try to tell all these people that there’s nothing to be afraid of I think that it’s a false statement I do think that anything besides the fact of countries outside of the US is dangerous. Oh wait I actually said that wrong what I meant to say is that the rivers in the United States do not hold anything for you to fear but countries that have piranhas and other forces like the amazon…. be careful!

And people need to realize that all of the sources out here are not correct and this post exactly right here is filled with so many opinions and people stating in which they know what they’re talking about but it’s actually completely not true. The best way to go about this stuff is it just kind of find a good educational resource like National Geographic or the discovery channel and just learn and research from that stuff. Is more or less just kind of a community network to just kind of talk with other people about this stuff of what is cool topics and such.

Reply from Patrick W.
Just think some of these sturgeons get 30 feet long that’s like longer than a school bus if you think about it. How the heck does something get that large in a freshwater atmosphere or a river for that matter. I just can’t believe that these fish can get this largest freshwater so I learned a lot about this stuff and it was pretty mind blowing thanks for the cool list.

Reply from Bobby J.
What a lot of people forget about those when they are swimming in small lakes that a lot of these fish are going to be found in them because there’s not enough oxygen come wintertime. And if you live in a country where even sees wintertime the odds of you seeing these fish are very slim because if there’s wintertime there is ice on the lakes which creates less oxygen.

Posted by Natasha Riung:
You guys should make a list of the “most dangerous freshwater killers” or something along those lines. Because even though size does play a factor in our fear.. I think that the most ravenous killers would have a much larger impact in people’s minds. Fish like the snakehead or the crazy killer like arowana these are the fish that would really bring some scare into me as far as going swimming in the lakes around my house! haha. Good post here though.

Reply from Danny A.
I have personally caught a 50 pound carp fish and it was huge. To think that these things get a couple hundred pounds really just blows my mind. I’m just pretty certain that the person would not even be able to get it up with a fishing pole if it ways that much and you can’t really bring up these bottom dwellers in less you have really really sick line. I’m a really big fisherman and this is a pretty cool list to just look over and just learn a lot about these fish. My question is though how about the shark is that considered a fish or not?

Reply from Katie V.
Yeah don’t think the shark should be counted on the list because it’s not technically a fish. Or is a shark technically a fish I guess that’s kind of a tough question. No matter what though it was pretty surprising to read that there’s a shark that can be found in freshwater because I had no idea this. I live in the United States in the Midwest and I was just wondering if if sharks are found in any of the rivers around my area? Because if so I’m probably never going to let my children go swimming again.

Reply from Tony B.
This is a pretty spooky list and I never even thought somebody’s got this big. Some of these fish are getting like 10 times bigger and do you think it has anything to do with how time is gone on or do you just think these fish always gotten this large but we’ve never been able to find them. It seems like over time these fish just keep getting bigger and bigger maybe that’s something to do with pollution are some sort of weird radioactive reason that us humans bring to them. Because why would a fish gets so large to where could just barely move like that last fish on the list the number one.

Reply from Christy R.
The fish that freaks me out the most on the List is the sturgeon just because it looks kind a like a shark and these things get like 30 feet long. I live in Minnesota and a couple of weeks ago the lake that I live by that we swim in every single day almost they found a 7 foot sturgeon. If I had any idea these fish were that larger probably want to come swimming in the lake. Ever since they found that Sturgin me and my friends haven’t been swimming in there is funny as it sounds but the think something that larges in there scares us.

Reply from Grant S.
Hey Kristi if you keep figuring this stuff you’re never going to get over your fears and if you just stop caring nothing will ever happen. It’s the people that worry about everything that everything happens to them because I promise you have a better chance of dying out roller coasters and getting attacked by one of these fish. And I bet every single day of the week that you were going roller coaster and have no second thoughts whatsoever correct? And didn’t you read the article because these Sturgeon fish only eat plants meaning they have no reason ever attack you.

Reply from Freddy U.
It’s funny how people can be afraid of herbivore fish when that’s all I want to do is eat plants. The only fish have to worry about other ones that give off Certain kinds of poisons and the others are the type of fish that can eat you. I would personally fear the shark of the most because they actually have the most kills him that bull shark is on the top five list for human attacks for sharks. So hands-down the most deadly fish on this list is that shark.

Posted by Nikolai l.
If sturgeons are herbivores then why are they caught in hooks? I dont think an angler would put plants as his bait, right? That makes them carnivores, or at least, an omnivore. Also, i had a small sturgeon in my aquarium before and he eats fishes. Not the feeder fishes, if that’s what you think so.

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