Monday, April 19, 2010


How big can a crocodile, an arapaima, a catfish or a toman fish grow if they are released into a man-made body of water as big as Kenyir lake or a large river like Pahang river?

Our imagination of the final size of the creature is limitless. Just look at the catfish released by scientists in a river in Spain some thirty years ago. They or their descendants have grown up to more than six feet in length a few hundred kilograms in weight.

So too are catfish in Vietnem and Cambodian rivers. They are humongous!

I remember a story (I do not how true it is) of a soldier went missing when his boat capsized in Temenggor lake. Some said that he was eaten by a Tapah fish. Nobody knows the real story or was it true that a soldier went missing in the first place?

But, my ex-Director General used to tell me a story of an angler reeling in a big fish. Suddenly he saw another thing attacking his catch and when he finally brought the fish in, only the head of a huge toman was left on the hook.

What has consumed his fish? A huge Tapah, toman or a crocodile? No matter what, there was a huge monster in Temenggor lake, for sure.

I remember swimming on a piece of a long rope trailing in Kenyir lake water as our raft carrying the elephants from the mainland to National Parks, Terengganu side. I never dared to drop my feet in the deep and eerie deep Kenyir lake for fear of something huge coming up and took the baits of my two feet!

Now Terengganu Menteri Besar is offering RM 20,000 to anglers to catch alive the huge arapaima that is said to be swimming in Kenyir lake. He wants to put the fish in Kemaman zoo.

Unconfirmed reports said that the arapaima had attacked people who were swimming in the lake.

Well, I am not that convinced though...arapaima, despite of its size does not normally attacked its victims as such, unlike toman or tapah fish.

No matter what, creatures released in such waters, if left undisturbed and with an abundant supply of food, can without doubt, grow to their maximum size. I wonder whether they have maximum size!

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