Catla Fish: Katla Fish Characteristics, Diet, Uses & Best 7 Facts

The Catla fish (katla fish), also called the Katla fish, is very important economically to the freshwater ecosystems of South Asia. This fish, a member of the Cyprinidae subfamily of the carp, is important to the local economy as well as the aquatic environment. Let’s explore this amazing aquatic creature’s traits, nutrition, usage, and some surprising facts.

Scientifically known as Catla (Katla), the Catla fish is an important aquatic species that may be found in South Asian rivers and lakes. Its economic importance, dietary preferences, and distinctive qualities are the reasons for its appeal.

Katla Fish

Catla Fish Information

Catla Fish Information
Scientific NameCatla (katla)F
Common NamesKatla, Indian Major Carp
DistributionSouth Asia
HabitatRivers, Lakes
SizeUp to 1.5 meters
Economic ImportanceFood, Economy
Fascinating FactsMigratory, Herbivore

Identity and aliases

This species is also known as Indian Major Carp, Katla, Katol, Chepti, Baudhekra, Bacha, Karakatla, and Tambra.

Availability and Habitat

The rivers and lakes of northern India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Myanmar are home to the majority of the world’s catla fish. It thrives in freshwater habitats but is rarely seen in brackish water. Baors, beels, canals, ditches, floodplains, haors, ponds, and lakes are some of its typical habitats.

Purchasing power and demand

Due to customer demand for its freshness, catla fish is highly priced. Due to the increased demand, it now has more economic significance and has a considerable impact on local economies.

Catla Fish Characteristics

Physical Appearance

The distinctive characteristics of the Catla fish are its broad and big head, tilted mouth, and projecting lower jaw. Its scales are yellowish on the belly and grey on the dorsal side. The Catla fish stands out in the aquatic environment thanks to its short, deep body, obvious, huge eyes, and distinctive fins.

Size and Growth Potential

Market-ready Catla fish typically weigh between 1 and 2 kg, although they have a remarkable growth potential of up to 20 kg. They have a notable presence in aquatic habitats due to their body length, which may reach around 1 metre.

Preferred Habitat

Catla fish prefer slow-moving and standing freshwater bodies. They are commonly found in large rivers, lakes, and reservoirs across the Indian subcontinent.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Catla fish are primarily herbivorous, feeding on aquatic plants, algae, and other plant matter. This dietary preference contributes to their role in maintaining aquatic ecosystems’ balance.

Reproduction and Migratory Behavior

These fish migrate, frequently moving upstream for spawning during the monsoon season. Each spawning season, female Catla fish may produce up to 5 lakh eggs, a phenomenon that is essential to the dynamics of their population.

Lifespan of Catla Fish

The lifetime of a catla fish in its native environment is between 10 and 15 years. However, they may survive much longer in captivity, giving researchers plenty of time to observe and study them.

Economic Significance

In nations like India and Bangladesh, where it is a staple food, catla fish is of enormous economic significance. Due to its fast rate of development, compatibility with other carps, and customer preferences, commercial cultivation of it has spread around the world.

Catla Fish Feeding Strategies

These fish eat on the surface and in the midwater. Young Catla consume both phytoplankton and zooplankton, but older fish mostly consume zooplankton. They may be fed natural and supplemental foods in aquaculture environments, such as commercial carp fish diets, wheat bran, rice bran, and mustard oil cake.

Catla Fish in Aquaculture

The catla fish is a top contender for aquaculture due to its compatibility with other large carps, tendency to eat on the surface, and high development rate. These characteristics have increased its acceptance among fish producers in carp polyculture systems.

7 Fascinating Facts About Catla Fish

  1. The Catla fish can grow up to 1.5 meters in length and weigh as much as 45 kg.
  2. Its unique appearance, including a large protruding lower jaw, sets it apart from other freshwater species.
  3. Catla fish contribute to maintaining aquatic ecosystem balance by consuming aquatic plants and algae.
  4. These fish embark on migratory journeys upstream during the monsoon season for breeding purposes.
  5. Catla fish have a significant lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild, showcasing their resilience.
  6. Their economic importance extends beyond consumption, as they’re also sought after by anglers for their size and fighting abilities.
  7. Catla fish’s ability to thrive in aquaculture systems makes it a cornerstone of sustainable fish farming.


The Catla fish (Katla), with its unique characteristics, economic value, and role in aquatic ecosystems, remains a significant species in South Asian freshwater environments. Its distinct features, growth potential, dietary habits, and role in aquaculture contribute to its prominence in both scientific study and local economies.


Q: Where is the Catla fish commonly found?

A: Catla fish is mainly found in rivers and lakes across northern India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Myanmar.

Q: What is the economic significance of Catla fish?

A: Catla fish holds economic importance due to its market value and consumer demand for its fresh condition.

Q: What do Catla fish primarily feed on?

A: Catla fish are herbivorous and feed on aquatic plants, algae, and other plant matter.

Q: How long can Catla fish live in the wild?

A: In the wild, Catla fish have a lifespan of approximately 10-15 years.

Q: Why are Catla fish sought after by anglers?

A: Catla fish’s size and fighting abilities make them popular among anglers in addition to their consumption value.

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