- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Cypriniformes
- Family: Cyprinidae
- Genus: Catlocarpio
- Species: Catlocarpio siamensis
The Siamese giant carp is the largest carp species in the world and found in Thailand waters and along the Mekong river through Cambodia down to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The biggest ever recorded fish was reportedly 300kg (661 lb) and caught in Thailand, in the wild with a net. This was however in times gone by when the environment was slightly different and the species may not have been under the same pressures as today from Dam building, loss of Habitat and over fishing.
The Giant barb has very large Dark Silver Grey/ Black scales with Light Grey/ Dark blue/ Dark green edges. A very large mouth with Pink/Skin coloured lips. It does not have any barbels.
Pla Caho are regularly caught in many of Thailand's fishing parks that weigh over 30kg (90lbs) and on a good day if the conditions are right and you are blessed with that something special a 50kg (120lbs) would be a fine catch and surely something to remember for the rest of your life. 100kg (220lb) + carp are stocked in lakes in Bangkok but are so hard to catch that a specimen of that size has only ever been landed once.
This is the mother of all carp species and its fighting power is immense, like other carp species it will fight right up to the net and constantly try to go on powerful runs to find underwater snags to take cover.
In its native habitat the Siamese giant carp feeds on most things like vegetation, worms, crustations and insects. Like most barb fish species it will move around the river bed hoovering up food with its gigantic mouth. Its favoured conditions would be deep, weedy, slow moving or still waters.
Catlocarpio siamensis is becoming increasingly rare in the wild just like the Mekong giant catfish Pangasianodon gigas which is on the critically endangered list aswell as the Julliens golden price carp Probarbus Jullieni which can grow to 1 meter in length and over 30kg (66.1lb).
Siamese Giant Carp can be bred in captivity but they require 7 years before they are sexually mature, If this is the same as in the wild then they are surely very susceptible to over fishing.