European catfish, the continent’s largest freshwater fish measuring up to 2.5 meters, are quickly evolving as they colonize new rivers. They are currently displaying completely new behavior, colors, or sizes. In the Tarn River, they have learned to launch themselves out of the water, clench a pigeon in their jaws, writhe back into the water and proceed to dine.
In the murky waters of the Rhone estuary, they have grown to extraordinarily large sizes, and some have become albinos.
In the Saone River, some feed on ducks, and the largest individuals are attempting (without success so far) to catch swans.
As soon as they reach a length of about one meter, they rule over the pike, their closest competitor and become the apex-predators of freshwater waterways; since they left the Danube River in Eastern Europe in the late 60s, they have learned how to adapt to available resources: they forage for prey at, or beyond, the boundaries of their new ecosystem.
Their reign over our rivers is now unchallenged, hence their immense proportions and gargantuan appetite.
French scientists and fishermen decipher the secrets of these legendary fish as they colonize the „West“.
Not only do they reveal their never-before-seen behavior topside and underwater from Eastern to Western Europe – in 6 different environments from the Danube to the Garonne Rivers, but also the evolution of their diet.
Director : Bertrand LOYER