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Nepal is a land of diverse topography, climate, ethnicity and biodiversity. Within an average breadth of about 150 km, the altitude varies from 60 meter above sea level to the world's highest peak Mount Sagarmatha scaling 8848 km it has three large river basins namely Koshi in the east, Narayani in the central and Karnali in the west.


The rivers of Nepal supports more than 100 species of fish including the human size catfish known as Gonch, famous sporting fish the Mahasheer and delicious species the Jalkapoor.

Some important game fishes of Koshi and other rivers of Nepal

S. No Common/ Local Name Scientific Name Size Weight Habitat Bait Season
1. Mahasheer/ Sahar Tor putitora 2.5 m 50 kg Large and deep rivers Fish Mar. -May./Sept. - Dec
2. Deep Bodied Mahasheer Tor tor 3 m 50 kg Large and deep rivers Fish Mar. - May/Sept - Dec
3. Copper Mahasheer /Katle Acrossocheilus hexagonolepis .6 m 5 kg Large and deep river Fish and meat Mar- June / Sep. - Nov.
4. Fresh Water Shark/Gounch Bagarius bagarius 3 m + 100 kg + Large and Deep rivers Fish Mar. - May/Sept - Dec.
5. Jalkapoor Clupisoma gaura .5 m 1 kg Large and deep rivers Worms and meat Mar. May/Sept. Dec
6. Fresh Water Eel/Raj Bam Anguilla bengalensis 3 m 18 kg River and pools Frogs and worms Mar - May/ Sept. - Dec.
7. River Catfish/ Bachawa Silondia silondia .5 m 2.5 kg River confluence Worms and meat Mar - May/ Sept. - Dec
8. Giant Murrel/ Saur Channa maurilus 2.5 15 River, stream and lakes Worms, fish and insects Feb. - May/Sept to Dec
9. Mud Eel/Hile Bam Amphipnous (Monopterus) cuchia .8 m 1.5 kg River, stream, lakes and swamps Meat Feb. - Apr.
10. Feather Back/ Patali Notopterus notopterus .4 cm 2 kg River, streams and lakes Worm, insects and meat Feb. - May / Sept - Dec
11. Knife Fish/ Chitala Notopterus chitala 1 m 8 kg River, streams and lakes Worms, insect and meat Feb. - May / Sept - Dec
12. Catfish/Buari Wallago attu 1.8 m 12 kg River, streams and lakes Fish, insects and meat Feb. - June/Sept. - Nov.
13. Tenger Catfish/ Tengri Mystus seenghala .4 m 14 kg River streams Fish, insects and meat Jan - June/Sept. - Nov
Bait species
S. No. Important fish species as baits Predatory species
Common Name Scientific Name Common Name
1. Flying Barb Esomus danricus Mahasheer and Catfish
2. Sucker Head Garra gotyla Mahasheer
3. Singhe Catfish Heteropneustes fossilis Catfish, Fresh Water Shark ‘Buster’
4. River Barb Puntius chillinoides Copper Mahasheer
5. Gravel Catfish Glyptothorax telchitta Mahasheer
6. Torrent Minnow Barilius sps Mahasheer

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