10 Most Popular Freshwater Fishes Found in India

India boasts a rich diversity of freshwater fish species, many of which inhabit its rivers. Here are some popular freshwater fishes found in Indian rivers:

Mahseer/महसीर: Mahseer is one of the most iconic freshwater fish species in India, known for its size and strength. It is found in various rivers across the country, including the Cauvery, Krishna, and Brahmaputra rivers.

Golden Mahseer found in the Himalayan rivers and Odisha has the fish known as ‘Mahanadi mahseer’.

Rohu/रोहू: Rohu is a common freshwater fish found in rivers and reservoirs throughout India. It is a popular food fish and is widely cultivated in aquaculture.

Catla/कतला: Catla is another important freshwater fish species in India, known for its high nutritional value. Like Rohu, it is extensively farmed in ponds and reservoirs.

Hilsa (Ilish)/हिल्सा: Hilsa is a prized fish found in rivers along the eastern coast of India, particularly in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta region. It is known for its delicious taste and is a staple food in many parts of the country.

Singhara (Asian Arowana)/सीघला: Singhara, also known as the Asian Arowana, is a highly prized and endangered species found in some Indian rivers, particularly in the northeastern states.

Giant Snakehead (Channa marulius)/स्नेकहेड: This predatory fish is found in rivers and water bodies across India. It is known for its aggressive behavior and is a popular game fish among anglers.

Tilapia/तिलापिया: Tilapia is a widely distributed freshwater fish species found in rivers, lakes, and ponds throughout India. It is often cultivated in aquaculture due to its fast growth and adaptability to various environmental conditions.

Walking Catfish (Clarias batrachus)/मांगुर कैटफ़िश: This species of catfish is found in rivers and water bodies across India. It is known for its ability to survive out of water for extended periods and can “walk” short distances using its pectoral fins.

Murrel (Snakehead)/मुरेल: Murrel, also known as Snakehead fish, is a popular game fish found in rivers and lakes across India. It is prized for its taste and is often targeted by anglers.

Indian Carp (Labeo species)/मृगल: Various species of Indian Carp, including Mrigal, Silver Carp, Grass Carp, and Common Carp, are found in Indian rivers. They are important food fish and are also cultivated in aquaculture systems.

These are just a few examples of the diverse freshwater fish fauna found in Indian rivers. The rivers of India support a wide range of fish species, each with its unique ecological role and cultural significance.

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