You never know just what will end up in your net. It’s what makes angling such a great adventure. For a group of fishermen on the Mekong River in Cambodia, an accidental catch of a 400-pound stingray in May 2022 brought not just a massive fish. They also received the attention of international conservationists and news media as reported by Reuters and other outlets.
Fishermen Catch a 400-Pound Stingray
Local fishermen on the Mekong River were looking to catch dinner when a giant stingray gulped their fish on the line. The stingray took the hook along with the smaller fish. This led to the fishermen landing a 400-pound, 13-foot-long giant freshwater stingray. The catch-and-release may have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for a group of fish biologists from the University of Nevada Reno. The researchers happened to be on a scientific field expedition to study the wonders of the Mekong River.
According to an article from the University of Nevada, the research team and local fishermen worked together to record and release the giant stingray. These fish are one of the largest freshwater species in the world. They are also the focus of their expedition, cataloging deep pools of the Mekong River, which can be up to 260 feet deep.
Can There Be Even Bigger Fish in the Mekong?
Conversations between the visiting researchers and the local fishermen of the Mekong suggest the 400-pound stingray is just a teaser compared to the size of fish they claim to have caught there.
In the University of Nevada article, fish biologist and Mekong project lead Zeb Hogan is quoted as saying, “The fishers here tell stories of catching record-breaking stingrays and other giant fish.” The Mekong hosts such species as catfish and barb, along with these giant stingray, all of which may tip the scales at up to 600 pounds and 10 feet long.
The relationship between local fishermen, and researchers is proving to be an integral one to understanding the Mekong River. And that means a better understanding of the deep-water creatures we value as anglers.