Species

Native and non-native species found in the Chiang Mai region

A wide range of freshwater fish species are available for anglers to target within the Chiang Mai region. Fishing Chiang Mai has produced this guide to help you in identifying, and indeed catching, most of these – if you have the time and patience… Tight lines!

Click the tags below to view only specific types of fish.   Click the “Read More…” labels to find out all you need to know for each species.

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  • Display All Species
  • Introduced
  • Large
  • Native
  • Predator
  • Smaller
  • Veggie
Catfish - Striped (Sawai)
Striped Catfish (Pla Sawai)

Identification: Grey through silver in colour , its smooth scaleless skin reflects light the same way a pearl does. With minimal barbels, an iridescent stripe along the lateral line, and a sma...

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Catfish - Giant Mekong
Giant Mekong Catfish (Pla Beuk)

Identification: Grey through white in colour, with a complete lack of barbels. It has a huge gaping mouth, very large tail and large sharp and bony pectoral fins (beware of these when han...

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Pacu
Pacu (Pla Pacu)

Identification: Pacu is of the piranha family, but grows much larger, and they are actually omnivores (largely herbivorous). Fortunately their teeth are also quite different; piranha have vicio...

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Siamese Giant Carp
Siamese Giant Carp (Pla Kraho; Pla Kaman)

Identification: The Siamese Giant Carp (also known as giant barb) is grey/silver through to almost black in colour, with a very large head and mouth and clearly identifiable scales in a regu...

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Alligator Gar
Alligator Gar (Pla Jarrake)

Identification: The Alligator Gar has a distinctive appearance, to say the least, with its massively elongated snout stuffed full of sharp pointy teeth - somewhat like the alligator from whi...

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Red-Tail Catfish
Red-Tail Catfish (Pla Meaw Haang Daeng)

Identification: The Red-Tail Catfish has a very distinctive appearance, with a bright red/orange tail fin, and a body colour that has a clearly defined white/cream coloured lower half and...

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Giant Snakehead
Giant Snakehead (Pla Chado)

Identification: The Giant Snakehead is a perfectly evolved predator characterized by a streamlined eel-like body and a small snake-like head with a big mouth containing rows of sharp...

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Arapaima
Arapaima (Pla Tjon Amazon)

Identification: The Arapaima is a beautiful fish with colours from silver through olive green and with striking red edging on the scales. This is found in increasing amounts as the fish mat...

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Hampala Barb
Hampala Barb (pla kra sub)

Identification: The Hampala Barb, commonly known as Jungle Perch, is a clearly scaled fish with silver through bronze colouring, much like a roach. It is easily identified by its orange tin...

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Striped Snakehead
Striped Snakehead (Pla Chon)

Identification: The Striped Snakehead is similar in shape to its big brother, the Giant Snakehead, but with a smaller head and teeth. It has stripes, or almost chevrons, on its flanks. Adu...

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Catla Catla Indian Carp
Catla Catla (Pla Kaho Tad)

Identification: The Catla Catla has oddly large scales and a very long pectoral fin. The entirety of the body is dark gray/green. Its most recognizable feature is its large lower jaw which for...

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Spotted Giant Featherback
Spotted Giant Featherback ((pla grai)

Identification: The spotted giant featherback is very distinct, normally silvery gray with a long knife like body (laterally compressed) and a long anal fin that gives these fish their com...

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Nile Tilapia (pla nin)

Identification: The Nile Tilapia is a black and white stripped fish. The black vertical strips extend the full lenght of the fishes body and look and feels a little bit like the Perch. The bigger fis...

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