Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pattaya Thailand Trip, Giant Catfish at Stone Park

Million Years Stone Park has some HUGE Asian catfish stocked in its fishpond—more like a small lake actually. There at the fishpond, just like at every animal station in the park, visitors can spend a bit more money to feed the animals they are “experiencing,” in this case what appears to be the Mekong Giant Catfish. I’m not so sure that such willy-nilly feeding of their animals by tourists is such a great thing for the animals, but it sure was fun for us.

Researching those giant Mekong catfish, it’s a sad thing to consider that their days may be nearing an end. The ones at Stone Park seem pretty big but in their natural riverine environment they are known to grow more than 10 feet in length reaching almost 700 lbs in weight. That makes them the world’s largest freshwater fish. In the US we hear about 5 foot catfish occasionally caught, mostly in our southern rivers, and we marvel; yet there in that Thai zoo lake are probably thirty or more 5 footers (and longer) all in one place and quite willing to reveal themselves for a few food pellets. Unfortunately, these monsters cannot breed in lakes and ponds, only in rivers, so stocking them in ponds will not preserve the species.

There is a host of other fish to see as well, many fairly large in their own right; but they don’t generate much interest and even less excitement compared to the real celebrities of the lake. The stars of course being the mass of crowding giant catfish with their massive upturned heads and gaping mouths.

In observation mode, I noticed that there are two distinct “shifts” of fish consisting of “the giants” and “all others.” The giants (the catfish) come to the surface anytime pellets are thrown into the water, at which time “the others” in the interest of self-preservation either remove themselves or are forced to the perimeter of the mass of catfish giants.

Among “the others” are much smaller fish, some even fingerling sized, which I presume must be very quick, because once those catfish open their gaping maws to vacuum up the floating pellets there’s probably a pretty good chance that one of the fingerlings can get sucked down too. I kept watching to see if that would happen, but I never witnessed such a thing. I suppose all the stupid smaller ones get sucked down pretty quick—so it’s a question of survival of the fast and the smart when it comes to those little ones.


Richards said...

Giant Catfish at Stone Park is really good place for tours and trips. view of this park is awesome and have a fun with fishes is really amazing.I like this blog very much but its quiet informative also.Thanks for sharing it with us.
Completely Thailand

sofia said...

The tour destination is really world famous tourist destination, the place is gifted with natural beauty, pleasing atmosphere, nice culture, which give peaceful to its tourist. One can enjoy their tour with their family and friends for long time memorable vacation.

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