The Nile Perch is a beast of Africa.
Africa has some of the most incredible biodiversity on the planet and it is not just all the amazing animals wandering across the plains either. There are some truly incredible native species of fish to be found in the lakes and river basins snaking across the country. Some of these fisheries hold some of the largest freshwater fish in the world.
One of the more striking of these African species is the Nile Perch or Lates niloticus as it is known in scientific circles. Today's fishing video comes to us from East Africa, in Egypt's Lake Nasser, where this species has been extremely successful.
The guys in this video catch a few of these massive fish, capping things off with a massive 114 pounder that is a true test for any sport fishing enthusiast.
What a beast! Just look at the size of the dorsal and pectoral fins on this fish as compared to the angler's head. In case you were wondering, this fish is said to reach weights over 400 pounds. The official world record, as recognized by the IGFA, is a 230 pounder caught in December 2000 on the same lake these guys were fishing.
Lake Nasser is a noted Nile perch fishery. Over the years, this species has been introduced to many African Lakes where it previously was not found. Lake Nasser being one of them. Lake Victoria is the other major spot where they were introduced back in the 1950s. The huge lake straddles the borders of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. While the fish has been great for tourist fishing, it has been devastating for ecology because of predation on native fish stocks. Most notably native cichlids, which the Nile perch has consumed nearly to extinction in the lake. They also feed heavily on crustaceans. Nile Perch have also devastated places like Ugandan Lake Nabugabo
Texas experimented with the introduction of Nile perch to a few select locations years ago. However, those were met largely with failure. Probably for the best since Australia is an entirely different story. The fish has devastated ecosystems and is now considered an invasive species there and officials levy heavy fines on anyone trying to introduce the fish. While the fish has spread to areas nature never intended, it is native to waterways like the Congo River, Niger River, Senegal River, and of course, the Nile River. It is not exclusively a river species. It is native to waters like Lake Chad, Lake Maryut, Lake Volta, and Lake Turkana too.
The Nile perch is a fun species for anglers to catch. However it is also a cautionary tale on the dangers of spreading a non-native species to new waters.