Golden Mahseer: Freshwater Species of the Week


freshwater species of the weekFreshwater Hero Zeb Hogan shot the mesmerizing video above of golden mahseer (Tor putitora) in northern India. The fish was once widely distributed across south and southeast Asia, but is now listed as endangered by IUCN.

According to IUCN, the species has faced steep decline from overfishing and loss of habitat. Proposed dams in the Himalayan region may further block their migration and limit their breeding capabilities.

IUCN estimates the golden mahseer has lost 50% of its historic numbers, and may decline further to 80% if those dams are finished. The agency has called for conservation efforts.

According to Hogan, this calming video was taken in a”temple pool” on the Ramganga River in India, in April 2010.

Hogan told Water Currents via email, “My understanding is that, often, harvest is not allowed in river pools next to temples.  So these pools have more fish, and larger fish, than you find in other stretches of the river.”

Meanwhile, we’re going to watch the video again, because it relaxes us…


Brian Clark Howard is an Environment Writer and Editor at National Geographic News. He previously served as an editor for and E/The Environmental Magazine, and has written for,,, Yahoo!, MSN, Miller-McCune and elsewhere. He is the co-author of six books, including Geothermal HVACGreen Lighting and Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.