As an American, I've long underestimated freshwater fish. While delicious, the trout and salmon that populate our rivers are small and floppy.
So it was with awe that I viewed the above picture. The giant catfish is truly a behemoth of the stream. Growing up to ten feet long and weighing almost a ton, they are ideal to cut open and crawl inside to survive a storm in the wild. I'm already planning an ill-prepared trip to the Mekong during monsoon season.
However, no sooner do I learn of this great fish's existence, than I learn that it's endangered. The Chinese government plans to dam up the Mekong to feed their insatiable lust for 24 hour discotheques and laser gloves. The giant catfish is to0 large to go over the dam (though I wonder if perhaps it could just smash through) and would not be able to spawn.
We at COACISSW need to stand together to protect this fish (and what I have to assume is a truly spectacular spawning process). As I noted in the giant whale-eating whale post, too many of the best animals to cut open and crawl inside to survive a storm in the wild are already extinct.
Not one more! I say.
I've been angry with the Chinese government for the past few years because of how scared they made me of the Olympics, but this really crosses the line.
But there's hope. They won't be able to dam the river if the river is full of Americans. Bring your boats, jet boats, jet skis, submarines, hover boats, knee boards, fishing gear, spear guns, air rifles, Bud Light Lime, beads, American flag bikinis, and classic rock mixes. Let's turn the Mekong into the Havasu of the east. No need to pack any food, there will be plenty of catfish to go around.
And if a storm comes up, just cast your line into the water and wait for sweet slippery salvation.