To say that the river was crystal clear would be an overstatement. To say the river was clean would be an overstatement. To say the river was scenic, again would be an overstatement, but to say I had fun fishing in it, would be an understatement.
I arrived right around three in the afternoon. A few rain clouds were on the horizon but they were surrounded by clear, blue skies. The river cut through the city of Manaus winding its way through the numerous wooden houses. The water was so muddy, that I couldn’t see more than a foot deep. I walked down the slippery rocks hoping that I would catch any fish at all in this polluted habitat. At the very first swoop of my net caught a big nothing, as did the following five or so scoops. Finally in a clump of submerged, terrestrial grass I caught the first fish of the day, a juvenile Cichlasoma portalagrensis. The next fish was a small female Guppy that I caught swimming at the surface. I let it go and moved along the bank past a small waterfall.
I crawled down the rocks and stuck my smaller, stronger net into the submerged vegetation. Up came a large adult Laetecara sp. This was when I realized the effects of pollution, a beautiful specimen it was, but it had lost almost all of its caudal fin to fin rot, this was the first time I had seen this in a freshly caught fish.
After a few more scoops I caught a subadult Cichlasoma portalagrensis along with a few shiny silvery tetras. I walked a few feet down and succeeded in catching an adult Brochis splendens. This was a species I had encountered before in another creek in Manaus. It too had bad fin rot and on one side a large red parasite.
The next fish was a very interesting catfish, it is sedentary in nature and to be truthful I think it is extremely ugly, it is slimy and dark brown, almost black with small beady eyes and a large mouth. I caught a species of Corydoras, one that I had never caught before. They are so cute with their little snub noses and large black dorsal fin spot. I caught several of these through the trip.
A very strange fish came next, it was about three inches, had a very pointed snout, and thin black bands, arranged vertically across the silver back. It was a tilapia (Oreochromis sp.). Though native to Africa it is a highly invasive species and can be found around the globe. This was the first time I had found this species in a natural river and I was alarmed.
A few local fisherman came by where I was fishing, they asked to see the little fish I had caught and I showed them the few select specimens I had kept. I then asked them about the common fish in the river. They rattled off a list of the fish they most commonly caught on hook and line, this included, mandii (a species of medium-sized bottom catfish from the genus Pimelodus), Jacunda (Pike cichlid), peacock bass, acara (most any large cichlid), and piranhas. I watched them pull in a catfish after taking a few photos I thanked them, continuing on down the bank.
Until next time, where I will finish the story of my adventure on the Rio Tarumã.
P.s. these photos were taken with my Nikon L100. The LCD screen is broken and only about a sixth of the pictures worked, for this reason a few of the species are missing here. Thank you for your patience.