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White gold from Riba-roja

Tostedt. Catfish are a master of camouflage and it is not unusual for a fish to adapt its skin colour to the natural environment. On the Po in Italy the fish are mostly grey while in France they tend to be darker owing to the very clear waters. In Spain, the heads of catfish are pitch black and on the Rhine in Germany they are often light grey owing to the gravelly river beds.

However, there are some waters where catfish live whose skin colouration is different from all other catfish. These catfish are bright white owing to a gender defect and normally have red eyes. The experts refer to this as albinism. These albino catfish are primarily found in France on the Rhone, Petit Rhone and Saone rivers. In Spain on the other hand, there is a quite special selection of coloured catfish  which are mostly orange, mottled orange and black or mottled black and white. How this colouration originated is still largely unknown. These Mandarin catfish, sometimes known as "cow catfish" (due to the mottled black and white colouration) are extremely rare and a dream catch for every angler. During the night of 25.9.2014, Stefan Seuß and his guiding guests were able to tempt such a black and white catfish on the Ebro sparking celebrations all round. And what is truly outlandish about the story is that, on the very same night, around the same time and just one swim away, English guide and Black Cat test angler Lee Franchetti was able to land two further golden catfish. (Photo 1)

To this day, Stefan Seuß has never known of such a catch of three of the rare white and gold catfish on the same night. Just days earlier, guide Stefan Seuß along with his guest Robert Baumann had managed to land a completely white catfish. This fish could have been an albino. (Photo 2). So, if you are looking for "Spanish gold", you can find it on the Ebro.

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