13 Most Dangerous Freshwater Fish To Avoid From

image: River Monsters

It is important to know that swimming in freshwater can also be harmful. That is because there is some most dangerous freshwater fish roaming the river or lake that you swim in. You should know these predators and avoid getting in touch with their territory, just to be safe. Imagine you jump into the water and come back leaving some of your toes to the fish for snacks. Nope, on second thought don’t imagine that. I don’t include the piranhas in the list since everybody knows what the fish can do. Take a look at these dangerous freshwater fish here and remember their names and their habitats.

1Alligator Gar

Once upon a time, there was this man dangling his feet over a dock in waters of southeastern United States. Suddenly, a huge alligator gar grabbed his feet and pulled him into the water. But guess what, the man managed to escape and lived to tell the tale. The alligator gar can grow up to 10 feet and 400 pounds in weight. They look like half fish half crocodile, and they might be responsible for mysterious drownings and lost dogs. As for death or serious attacks, there is no confirmed report of that.

2Bull Shark

image: Wikimedia Commons
Bull sharks are unique fish that can live in both freshwater and saltwater, and well, they do bite. You know what a shark can do to us, so you know the drill. Stay alert. I can’t describe the exact habitats of the bull sharks, because they live EVERYWHERE. Where there is water, there is a bull shark no matter if it is freshwater or saltwater. Also, their population is great up north especially in the United States. So be careful.

3Electric Catfish

Malapterurus electricus 1
image: Wikimedia Commons
Not so experienced as an electric eel, the electric catfish can only generate 300-400 volts of power. Not as high as the eel, but that is still enough to kill us. They are found in tropical Africa and the Nile River.

4Electric Eel

Who would want to be electrocuted? In the water, by an eel? This electric eel can generate electricity up to 600 volts, and that is not simple. I might be bad at physics, but at least I know 600 volts is not something I would want to experience. What they do is knocking us unconscious with their superpower. And we tend to drown when we are unconscious in the water. That is why you should be careful when you swim in the Amazon river.

5Giant Freshwater Stingray

By giant, they can grow as big as 16 feet and weigh up to 2000 pounds. That makes their stinger reach the length of 8 feet at least. They can either sting or wrestle you underwater with that size and weight. They are found in Southeast Asia exactly where I live, and now water is not my favorite place.

6Goliath Tigerfish

As you can see, the teeth of the Goliath Tigerfish are not so pleasant to watch. Let alone feel the bite from them, no thank you. This type of fish can grow as long as more than 6 feet in length with a weight of up to 70 pounds. With that size and those teeth, your flesh is done in a few bites. Their habitats are in the Congo River and Lake Tanganyika.

7Goonch Fish

Be careful if you venture into The Kali River because something bizarre is roaming the river every day. Just so you know, the Goonch Fish is one of the freshwater monsters that you wish you’ll never meet. They can grow as long as 7 feet long and 300 pounds in weight. This type of fish has razor-sharp teeth, and it is not afraid to drag you down in the river. Oh, and it won’t let you come back to the surface to tell the tale. Human ranks number 1 on their menu, so letting you go is not in the options.

8Great Barracuda

To make it precise, each of the Great Barracuda’s tooth is 3 inches. As the fish grow, they can reach up to the length of 6 feet and 100 pounds in weight. Make sure you stay away from mangrove and estuarine regions. You know fish can jump, right? With those teeth, one bite can cost your leg or at least half of it. These fish have killed people before, and they surely will if they have the chance to.


If a fish has teeth this many, there is nothing it can’t do to us humans. They can grow up to 7 feet and weigh up to 80 pounds. This weight my friend, is strong enough to drag a victim for a ride underwater. They live in the lakes of the Northern Hemisphere, let’s just say we won’t meet them.


Payara aka Sabre Toothed Tiger Fish is one of the deadliest predators in the Amazon River. They have absolutely strong jaws and sharp teeth that are ready to bite. These 2 lower jaws are not something you want to feel deep in your flesh.

11Piraiba Catfish

Known as a man-eater, the piraiba catfish is a friend to no man. They have the hunter type of teeth in their mouth that are ready to taste us. This scary catfish can reach 9 feet in length with the size as big as a man. Since it is the South America’ s largest catfish and a carnivore, it can eat us anytime. You can find them in Amazon and Orinoco basins as well as other tropical freshwater habitats in South America.


If you wonder if there is something that can be ugly and cute at the same time, look at puffers. They are also dangerous. The puffer, even the name is cute, has a beak that can rip through flesh. That beak can also harm people as well. Even if they are not too dangerous, and they can’t whole eat you, at least they take your fingers. There are around 150 species of pufferfish, but only 29 are truly freshwater pufferfish. You can find them in the marine environment, brackish water, and freshwater.

13Wels Catfish

If it can grow up to 13 feet in length and 400 pounds in weight, of course, it can swallow us whole. Wels Catfish is the fish that no one wants to see. They have razor-sharp teeth, and they are so aggressive. The wels catfish enjoy swimming and attacking people in Berlin Lake, Spain’s Reservoirs, and Russia’s Volga River. If you wonder what worse could they have done, here is the answer. There was an entire human body found in the stomach of this type of catfish in Russia. That is how they can do to any of us.

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