PAVÓN, TUCUNARE, PEACOCK BASS (CICHLA)
Belonging to the Cichlidae family, the scientific names of its different varieties are: Cichla Temensis – Cichla Ocellaris – Cichla Intermedia – Cichla Orinocensis – Cichla Monoculus. The peacock bass is a medium-sized fish with lengths between 30 cm and 1 meter. The peacock bass is sedentary and lives in lakes, ponds, rivers, and estuaries, preferring slow or still water areas.
BLUE AROWANA (OSTEOGLOSSUM FERREIRAI)
This curious fish mainly inhabits the surface and belongs to the paiche or pirarucu family (Osteoglossidae). Its anatomy catches the attention of any observer. Its body is laterally compressed and covered by large scales, the caudal fin is relatively small, and the dorsal and anal fins complete the different dimensions of that to form a very effective propulsion set.
CACHAMA (PIÁRACTUS BRACHYPOMUS)
Cachama is a freshwater fish belonging to the characin family, which includes caribes, morocotos, palambras, and palometas. The Characidae family has the highest number of freshwater fish species in Venezuela. Additionally, many of them are commercially valuable species. The adult cachama measures almost one meter long and can weigh about 30 kilograms. It is a robust fish with abundant and appetizing meat.
CROAKER (PLAGIOSCION SQUAMOSISSIMUS)
The freshwater croaker or curbinata (Plagioscion squamosissimus) is a species of fish in the Sciaenidae family in the order Perciformes. Males can reach up to 80 cm in total length and 4,500 g in weight. It has a black spot near the base of the pectoral fins. It is a freshwater, tropical, and bentopelagic fish. They are found in South America: basins of the Amazon, Orinoco, Paraná, Paraguay, and São Francisco rivers, and rivers of the Guianas.
The body of the Payarin is admirably designed for its rapid movement in water. Laterally compressed, of discrete size, its ventral edge cuts through the water like a keel or machete…the body thickness is considerably reduced towards the caudal and cephalic extremities. The pectoral fins are very wide in proportion to the size of the fish, the insertion of the first dorsal fin is very posterior, and the size of the ventral fins is greatly reduced.
The Valentón is a catfish with a large head, relatively small eyes located in the center of the skull, and three pairs of sensitive barbels. It has a body covered by smooth and shiny skin, devoid of scales and plates, covered by a semi-transparent mucoid secretion. The teeth, arranged in double patches, are viliform. The adult weighs more than 250 Kg and measures 3 meters.
PAYARA (HYDROLYCUS ARMATUS)
It is a very voracious predator that can reach a large size and weight (up to 39 lbs or 18 kgs). Its main characteristics are its pair of fangs that protrude from the mouth and occupy a cavity in the upper jaw. Its tail is very wide and has a very strong fin that helps the fish swim in the turbulent and rapid waters it prefers. It is worth noting its large eyes, which are of great help in spotting its prey.
CAJARO CATFISH (HRACTOCEPHALUS HEMILIOPTERUS)
The Pirarara is a very distinctive species. Its brown back, yellow sides, and red-orange dorsal and caudal fins make this catfish very recognizable. Three pairs of barbels are present, one pair on the upper part and two pairs on the lower jaw. This species, which grows above 4 feet (121 cm) and 100 pounds (45 kg), is considered one of the best fighters among catfish, with strong and determined runs.
CACHAMA NEGRA OR CHERNA (COLOSSOMA MACROPOMUM)
The body is typically rhomboidal, elongated in juveniles and very deep in adults with a robust and flat head with a short snout in adults; the jaws armed with large and very sharp teeth. Ectopterygoid teeth present and highly developed. They are very territorial fish and mainly predators. They consume smaller fish, aquatic insect larvae, and crustaceans (shrimps).
GOLDEN CATFISH (BRACHYPLATYSTOMA VAILLANTII)
It is a pelagic species (coastal). It feeds on fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. In artisanal fishing, specimens are caught from 42 cm up to 180 cm, their maximum size is 210 cm total length; maximum weight 40 kg and maximum age 5 years. This fish bites on the bottom or drifting with live natural bait. It presents a prolonged battle when fished with a rod and reel.
RED PIRANHA (SERRASALMUS NATTERERI)
The dorsal fin lacks spines and has 16-18 rays. The anal fin, also spineless, has 27-30 rays. The body – silver-gray in color – has large dark spots and the underside of its body, from the opercula to the anal fin, is red in color. In young specimens, numerous black spots are noticeable. They are found in South America, the Amazon basin, the Paraguay-Paraná basins, coastal rivers in northeastern Brazil, and the Essequibo River basin (Guyana).
HUJETA PIKE-CHARACIN (CTENOLUCIUS HUJETA)
Hujeta pikes are freshwater predatory fish with a fusiform body and pointed snout that voraciously attack artificial lures. As a curious fact, when the water where these fish live is illuminated with flashlights at night, accidents can occur, as excited hujeta pikes shoot out of the water and forcefully collide with the light source: they can hit the faces of the spectators.
BAGRE BLANCO POBRE (PINIRAMPUS PIRINAMPU)
Pinirampus pirinampu is a species of fish in the Pimelodidae family within the order Siluriformes. Males can reach up to 120 cm in total length and 7,680 g in weight. It feeds on benthic animals. It is a freshwater fish and prefers tropical climates (22°C-28°C). This fish has a preference for turbid and fast-flowing rivers.
CARIBE NEGRO (SERRASALMUS RHOMBEUS)
The body is typically rhomboidal, elongated in juveniles and very deep in adults with a robust and flat head with a short snout in adults; the jaws are armed with large and very sharp teeth. Ectopterygoid teeth are present and highly developed. The silver head is highlighted by an intense red iris. They are very territorial and mainly predators.
It is a fish native to the Colombian Orinoco. They are nervous, omnivorous fish with a carnivorous tendency, especially in their first days of larva and fry; they are extremely voracious but also accept commercial fish feed very well. The breeding season in the fry stations runs from February to June, depending on the onset of rains.
SARDINATA REAL (PELLONA CASTELNEANA)
Its average size is between 40 and 70 cm. A species native to the tropical South American rivers of the Orinoco and Amazon basins. It is a surface fish that feeds during crepuscular hours and cloudy days, on smaller fish that it pursues noisily. Its reproduction is synchronized with the rainy season.