1. Animal Husbandry

10 Most Popular Freshwater Fish Species of the Indian Rivers

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Fresh Water Fish

In India, coastal states like Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Odisha, and Gujarat rely heavily on fishing. Fishing and aquaculture contributes 1% of India's annual GDP, with West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh having the largest fish industries in the country. Rivers in India are the main source of irrigation, drinking water, and food.

Best Freshwater Fish Species

Here is a list of freshwater fish found in Indian rivers, with Rohu, Katla, Mahseer, Magur, and Vaam being some of the more prominent names. 


Rita is a bagrid catfish species that can be found in West Bengal. It is one of the genus's giants, reaching a maximum length of 150 cm. It is caught for human food on a commercial basis. Because of its availability and lower price, rohu is a popular fish in the Indian market. The fish is available all year. 

Rani or Pink Perch 

Rani fish, also known as Pink Perch, is a freshwater gamefish found throughout India. The fish is a small freshwater fish that is widely sold in India. The fish is available all year. Rohu fish can be found in abundance in India's softwater ponds. 

Kajuli or Ailia Coila 

The Gangetic ailia, also known as Kajuli, is typically found in big rivers and related water systems. This species is vital to India's indigenous commercial fisheries. The fish is available all year. 

Magur or Walking Catfish 

The Magur is a medium-sized walking catfish found in Indian rivers and Southeast Asia. In the Indian states of Assam, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh, the walking catfish is an omnivorous creature that is considered a delicacy. Because of its availability and lower price, rohu is a popular fish in the Indian market. Rohu fish can be found in abundance in India's softwater ponds. 

Tengra or Mystus Tengara 

Tengra, also known as Tengna, is a tiny catfish that is used in Bengali Tangra Macher Jhal dishes. Tengra fish are primarily found in the rivers of Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Bengal in India. The fish is available all year.

Tilapia or Cichlid Fish 

Tilapia are primarily freshwater fish that live in shallow waters, rivers, and lakes, although they can also be found in brackish water in India. Tilapia is also one of the world's most popular fish and, after carp and salmon, one of the most significant fish in aquaculture.  

Catla or Indian Carp 

Katla or Catla, often known as the major Indian carp, is a prominent freshwater fish that may be found in India's rivers and lakes. The catla, together with the roho labeo and the mrigal carp, is India's most important aquacultured freshwater fish. The fish is available throughout the entire year. 

Pulasa Fish 

Pulasa fish from the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh is the tastiest and most expensive of all the popular fish in India. The hilsa, Ilish, and hilsa shad are all names for the same type of fish. 

Hilsa or Ilish Shad 

Ilish, also known as hilsa shad, is a famous freshwater and brackish water fish in India, particularly in West Bengal, Odisha, Tripura, Assam, and Andhra Pradesh. In Andhra Pradesh and Bengal, the fish is a popular dish. 

Prawn fish

The Indian prawn is one of the main commercial prawn species of the world. It is found in the Indo-West Pacific from the eastern & south-eastern Africa, through India, Malaysia & Indonesia to the southern China & northern Australia.

Rohu or Labeo Rohita 

Rohu is a carp species found in rivers across the Indian subcontinent and widely utilized in aquaculture. The huge silver-colored Rohu fish is an important freshwater aquacultured species that is widely consumed in India and considered a delicacy in Bhojpur (Madhya Pradesh). 

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