Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

wels Silurus glanis, the largest European catfish, inhabits fresh waters in C. and E. Europe and further east to the Aral Sea. It may also be found in brackish coastal waters of the Baltic and Black Seas. In E. Europe it is a valuable commercial fish, which may be ‘farmed’, as happens in Hungary.

The normal market size is about 1 m (40"), but the official maximum length is 3 m (10'), and the record (an old one) is 5 m (16'), with a weight of just over 300 kg (660 lb). On this basis it would run a close second to the giant catfish of the Mekong for the title of world’s biggest freshwater fish.