Apparently catfish in Europe are getting so big that they have started clogging dams. The Local reports that a 7.4-foot, 200-pound catfish was found recently by a cleaning crew in the Danube River in Austria. Workers were attempting to remove a blockage from a hydroelectric dam when they realized it was actually caused by a giant catfish. The fish was so heavy the crew had to use a crane to transport it to the banks of the river.
“We are seeing more and more catfish, though I don’t ever remember seeing one of this size before,” said fish expert Peter Noebauer.
From the photo, the fish appears to be a wels catfish. It should be noted that these massive critters can weigh up to 800 pounds and grow up to 13 feet long. In the catfish family, wels only comes second to the Mekong giant in size, and its voracious appetite has made it popular among European anglers. Fighting these behemoths is not without risk however—they have been known to grab fishermen by their feet and drag them underwater.
For comparison, here is a 9-foot wels catfish caught by Italian angler Dino Ferrari early last year.