Catfishing Ebro River: Fishing at the Ebro River
Catfishing Ebro (Catalan : Ebre) river is the ideal place because the Ebro river is Spain’s most voluminous and second longest river. It starts at Fontibre (in the province of Cantabria) and passes Miranda de Ebro, Logrono, Zaragona, Flix, Tortosa and Amposta before ending in a delta on the Mediterranean Sea in the province of Tarragona.
The Ebro Delta is one of the largest wetland areas (320 km²) in the western Mediterranean region. The Ebro delta has grown rapidly—the historical rate of growth of the delta is demonstrated by the town of Amposta. This town was a seaport in the 4th century, and is now located well inland from the current Ebro river mouth. The rounded form of the delta attests to the balance between sediment deposition by the Ebro and removal of this material by wave erosion.
The modern delta is in intensive agricultural use for, rice,fruit, and vegetables. Additionally to Catfhising Ebro delta also hosts numerous beaches, marshes, and salt pans that provide habitat for over 300 species of birds. A large part of the delta was designated as Ebro Delta Natural Park in 1983. A network of canals and irrigation ditches constructed by both agricultural and conservation groups are helping to maintain the ecologic and economic resources of the Ebro Delta.
The Wels Catfish and lower Ebro
The wels catfish (Silurus glanis) is a scaleless fresh-watercatfish recognizable by its broad, flat head and wide mouth. The mouth contains lines of numerous small teeth, two long barbels on the upper jaw and four shorter barbels on the lower jaw. It has a long anal fin that extends to the caudal fin, and a small sharp dorsal fin positioned relatively far forward. It uses its sharp pectoral fins to capture prey: with these fins, it creates an eddy to disorient its victim, which it then simply engulfs in its enormous throat. It has very slippery green-brown skin. Its belly is pale yellow or white. Wels catfish live at least thirty years and have very good hearing .
The female produces up to 30,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight. The male guards the nest until the brood hatches, which, depending on water temperature, can last from three to ten days.
The wels catfish lives on annelid worms, gastropod, insects, crustaceans, and fish; the larger ones also eat frogs, mice, rats and aquatic birds like ducks.
The wels catfish lives in large, warm lakes and deep, slow-flowing rivers. It prefers to remain sheltered in places such as holes in the riverbed, sunken trees, etc. It consumes its food in the open water or on the bottom, where it can be recognized by its superior mouth. Wels catfish are food fish and are also kept in fish ponds. However, only the meat of younger animals is palatable.
The wels catfish is found in wide areas of central, southern, and eastern Europe, and near the Baltik and Caspian Seas.
With a possible total length up to three meters (ten feet) and a maximum weight of over 150 kg (330 lbs) it is the second largest freshwater fish in its region after the sturgeon. However, such extreme lengths are extremely rare and could not be proved during the last century, but there is a somewhat credible report from the 19th century of a wels catfish of this size. Most wels catfish are only about 1.30 to 1.60 meters (4 ft. 3 in. to 5 ft. 3 in.) long; fish longer than 2 meters (6 ft. 6 in.) are normally extremely rare.
Only under exceptionally good living circumstances can the wels catfish reach lengths of more than two meters, as with the record wels catfish of Kiebingen (near Rottenburg, Germany), which was 2.49 m (8 ft. 2 in.) long and weighed 89 kg (196 lb.). This giant was surpassed by some even larger specimens from France, Spain (in the River Ebro), Italy (in the River Po), and Greece, where this fish was released a few decades ago. It grows very well at that location thanks to the mild climate, lack of competition, and good food supply. The current record wels catfish was caught in the Po, a gigantic monster 2.78 m (9 ft. 1½ in.) long and weighing 144 kg (317 lb.). Reports of larger fish have not been verified and are often regarded as typical big fish stories or in some cases misidentification of the now rare sturgeon.