River Monsters

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River Monsters
River-Monsters.jpg
Format Nature
Documentary
Starring Jeremy Wade
Narrated by Jeremy Wade
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 36+11 specials + 2 extra episodes
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Discovery Production
Broadcast
Original channel Animal Planet
Picture format SD: 576i 16:9
HD: 1080i
Audio format SD: Stereo
HD: Dolby Digital 5.1
Original run 5 April 2009 – Present
External links
Website

River Monsters is a documentary television series that airs on Animal Planet, hosted by Jeremy Wade and produced by Icon Films of Bristol, UK.

Show Information[edit]

River Monsters travels worldwide with Suffolk, England born[1] host, biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade to explore freshwater mysteries and local folklore, possibly debunk these myths and track down these harrowing tales. The show has taken viewers to Germany, Spain, Italy, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, India, Japan, Russia, Suriname, Brazil, Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, the Republic of Congo, Mongolia, Guyana, and the American states of Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Vermont.

A 6th season will air April 9th at 9:00 PM (the season premiere is called amazon apocalypse).

First season[edit]

In the first season, Wade's weekly quest had him in search of Piranha, Goonch catfish (during his investigation of the Kali River goonch attacks), Alligator gar, Wels catfish, Bull shark, Piraiba/Candiru, and Arapaima, all supposedly deadly creatures shrouded with mystery. The show also focuses on explaining the creatures' feeding habits.

Rebroadcasts of the episodes with captions showing behind the scenes commentary from the host about the particular episode can also be seen on both Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, these episodes going by the title "River Monsters: Unhooked".

Second season[edit]

The second season of River Monsters began airing on 24 April 2010, although the first episode ("Demon Fish") appeared on the Discovery Channel on 28 March 2010. This season consists of 7 episodes and takes viewers to the River Congo and other locations. In the episode, "Death Ray", Wade catches a pregnant female Giant freshwater stingray which gives birth while it was being examined by Wade & a team of biologists. This season features the sturgeon, Wade's biggest catch yet.[2]

Episodes[edit]

Note that the air dates listed here are for the original Animal Planet premier of each episode, not their Discovery Channel or ABC 2 debut.

Episode list[edit]

Season 1: 2009[edit]

No. in
series
Title Original air date Unhooked air date
1 "Piranha" 5 April 2009 (2009-04-05) 5 May 2010 (2010-05-05)

Featured Animals: Red-bellied piranha, Black Piranha, Payara, Cuiu-Cuiu catfish, Amazon River Dolphin

Jeremy Wade journeys to Brazil, following reports in which a bus crashes into the Amazon River, and all the passengers are eaten by piranha. He investigates this and other stories in order to determine if the piranha really deserve their reputation and what exactly triggers a feeding frenzy. 
2 "Killer Catfish" 12 April 2009 (2009-04-12) 23 May 2010 (2010-05-23)

Featured Animals: Goonch catfish, Mugger crocodile, Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle, Gharial

Jeremy arrives at the Kali River in India, where a number of mysterious drownings have occurred. He investigates the possibilities of the culprit being whirlpools or crocodiles, but determines neither fit. Wade eventually finds out of a little-known catfish species that can grow to a large size: the Goonch, or Giant Devil Catfish. He reasons that, since funeral pyres are done at the shore of the river, the fish feed off the burnt human remains. This would allow them to reach man-eating size, as well as giving them a taste of people. Jeremy then must face off against a large goonch which may prove there are monster goonch ready to eat people. 
3 "Alligator Gar" 19 April 2009 (2009-04-19) 9 May 2010 (2010-05-09)

Featured Animals: Alligator gar, American Alligator, Spiny softshell turtle

Wade travels to the Trinity River in Texas to discover the truth behind the Alligator Gar: a massive predator blamed for horrifying attacks on people. Reports claim this fish is more dangerous than a man-eating shark. With huge jaws and two rows of needle-sharp teeth, the gar proves an elusive opponent. Finally hooking a large gar, Jeremy finds out once and for all if the Alligator Gar deserves its reputation as a river monster. 
4 "European Maneater" 26 April 2009 (2009-04-26) 26 May 2010 (2010-05-26)

Featured Animals: Wels catfish

The Wels Catfish is one of the largest catfish in the world. Medieval reports claim it is an aggressive man eater that will swallow you whole. After new reports surface of attacks in Germany, Jeremy Wade dives deep into the mystery of these fish. His investigation leads him to Spain, where a group of catfish were introduced into the Rio Ebro. Numerous factors led to these creatures taking over the ecosystem and possibly growing to man-eating size. There, Jeremy finds that these river monsters have no fear of man, and faces a potential maneater. 
5 "Amazon Assassins" 3 May 2009 (2009-05-03) 28 April 2010 (2010-04-28)

Featured Animals: Arapaima, Surubí catfish, Tambaqui, Black Caiman, Cobra Grande

The Amazon has many river monsters. Anacondas, Caimans, Piranha, and Jaguars all call this place home. Years ago, Jeremy Wade traveled here looking for Arapaima: a 10 foot long fish that has been known to ram predators with the force of a car crash. The trip resulted in Jeremy feeling the full force of one of these blows. Now, Wade has returned to Brazil to once again face off against this fish and determine if the Arapaima deserves to be on the Amazon's already large list of monsters. Journeying to the few spots where fishing for these fish is allowed, he encounters an Arapaima farm where the fish do something surprising. Jeremy then hears stories of the Amazon's other killers, the caiman. He searches for these, as well as a mysterious legend with its roots buried deep in folklore. Then, after finding the perfect spot, he finally comes face to face with the legendary giant, whose body could become a living missile. 
6 "Amazon Flesh Eaters" 10 May 2009 (2009-05-10) 2 May 2010 (2010-05-02)

Featured Animals: Piraíba catfish, Jaú catfish, Redtail catfish, Candiru, Candiru-Acù, Payara

Following a report of a fisherman swallowed whole, Jeremy Wade travels to South America in search of the Amazon's largest catfish: the Piraíba. Arriving there, Wade not only tries to catch this monster, but discovers that it belongs to a whole family of Amazonian killers. He finds the Candiru, a small blood-sucking catfish that has entered a man's body in the most horrifying of places, and the Candiru-Acù, a small catfish that swarms around and drills holes in dead or dying animals (including humans), eating them from the inside. Discovering the horrifying deeds of these fish only pushes him even further, until he faces off with the giant head of the murderous catfish family, the Piraíba. 
7 "Freshwater Shark" 17 May 2009 (2009-05-17) 12 May 2010 (2010-05-12)

Featured Animals: Bull shark, Queensland grouper, Saltwater Crocodile, Freshwater crocodile

Sharks are perhaps the most dangerous and feared of all fish, but these predators are confined to the oceans, right? The Bull Shark, the most dangerous and aggressive shark, has been known to swim miles up rivers. Jeremy Wade follows reports of attacks in rivers to Australia to find out why and how far these fish swim upstream. He traces the trail of blood left by these monsters from bays to lagoons to rivers, until he finally zeros in on the lair of these sea monsters. While fishing for one, Wade finds something even more shocking and terrifying than a full grown shark. 

Season 2: 2010[edit]

No. in
series
Title Original air date Unhooked air date
8 "Demon Fish" 28 March 2010 (2010-03-28) 16 August 2010 (2010-08-16)

Featured Animals: Goliath tigerfish

Jeremy Wade travels deep into the jungles of the Congo in search of a little-known predator that may be the most terrifying monster of all: the Goliath Tigerfish. This creature combines everything that made all previous river monsters deadly, and then some. Growing to 6 feet long with the jaws and teeth of a crocodile, this beast is covered in armor plating and thick muscle. Basically a giant piranha, the tigerfish is believed to be responsible for gruesome deaths, both in and out of water. The search for the elusive tigerfish pushes Jeremy to his mental limit as he uses everything he knows as a fisherman, as well as some luck from a witch doctor, to find this terrifying monster and uncover the truth behind a number of violent attacks. 
9 "Death Ray" 25 April 2010 (2010-04-25) 20 August 2010 (2010-08-20)

Featured Animals: Giant freshwater stingray, Mekong giant catfish, Siamese giant carp

Jeremy Wade ventures to the Mekong River in Thailand to find what may be the largest freshwater fish: the Giant Freshwater Stingray. Armed with a 10 inch, venom-coated barb, this fish grows to 16 feet long and its venom has no known antidote. Unlike South American freshwater stingrays (which usually don't get very big and deadly), this creature is a true monster. As this behemoth can nearly glue itself to the bottom of the river, once Jeremy hooks one, it may be his biggest challenge yet. 
10 "Killer Snakehead" 2 May 2010 (2010-05-02) 9 August 2010 (2010-08-09)

Featured Animals: Giant snakehead, Bullseye snakehead, Silver carp, Butterfly Peacock Bass

Journeying to Florida, Jeremy Wade encounters the Bullseye Snakehead, which were introduced to the state from Southeast Asia. With razor-sharp teeth and the abilities to breathe air and "walk" on land, these aggressive predators soon spawned numerous rumors of being man-eaters. Proving to be incredibly violent and vicious, Wade gets to the bottom of their monstrous rumors, only to be unconvinced of their lethality. That is, until he learns of another species, the Giant Snakehead, which is reported to be the largest and most dangerous of the snakeheads. Meanwhile, he travels up to Illinois and gets a taste of how much of an impact an invasive species such as the silver carp can have on humans. Arriving at Khao Laem Dam along the River Kwai in Thailand, Wade uncovers stories of attacks, one being fatal. With no luck in reeling one in with a line, he then dives deep into a murky river right in the middle of a school of young snakehead, hoping to find their murderous parents. 
11 "Congo Killer" 9 May 2010 (2010-05-09) 6 August 2010 (2010-08-06)

Featured Animals: Kamba Catfish, Vundu, Marbled lungfish, Mongusu

Jeremy Wade travels to the Congo, the only river to ever defeat him. He had once traveled there, only to catch nothing. Now he's back, investigating reports of fishermen being dragged to their death by a malevolent river spirit. Wade suspects the Tsuni catfish, Vundu Catfish or the Kamba Catfish, which are known to grow to large sizes. While staying with local villagers, he faces their superstitious beliefs as they blame his arrival for the disappearance of the chief's brother. After using traditional Congolese fishing methods, hearing of how one fisherman died, and finally facing a Catfish, Jeremy begins to wonder if the real danger isn't the fish itself. 
12 "Alaskan Horror" 16 May 2010 (2010-05-16) 19 August 2010 (2010-08-19)

Featured Animals: White sturgeon, Northern pike, Sockeye salmon, Salmon shark, Beluga whale, Grizzly Bear

Deep in the Alaskan wilderness, Lake Iliamna is supposedly the home of a monster. Reports claim it grows 20 feet long and is responsible for the disappearance of many fishermen. Investigating the identity of this creature, Jeremy Wade faces cold-water fishing for the first time. He investigates the possibility of the monster being a Pike or a Beluga whale, but none would match the description. Wade then tries to find out a possible food source: Salmon. This results in the first salmon he has on the end of his line, only to have it stolen by a bear. After hearing an eyewitness's encounter, Jeremy is able to determine the identity of the monster: a White Sturgeon. These fish grow to 20 feet long and are known to leap out of the water, which could result in people going missing. Fishing for sturgeon, Wade faces what may be the biggest fish he's ever caught. 
13 "Rift Valley Killers" 23 May 2010 (2010-05-23) 19 August 2010 (2010-08-19)

Featured Animals: Nile Perch, Semutundu catfish, Nile Tilapia, Nile crocodile, Hippopotamus

In the heart of Africa's Rift Valley, lives the Nile Perch, Africa's largest freshwater fish. Growing to 6 feet long, this fish is considered a prize and is what many people brave countless perils to catch. Jeremy travels to the birthplace of humanity and the oldest and most dangerous fishing spot to find this legendary creature. He faces off against Crocodiles, Hippos, and Gangs to find the perch, and is amazed at the dangers people face every day in order to catch this fish. He then takes on these perils in order to land monster perch. 
14 "Hidden Predator" 30 May 2010 (2010-05-30) 12 August 2010 (2010-08-12)

Featured Animals: Bull shark, Smallspotted Grunter, Dusky Kob

One year ago, Jeremy Wade was investigating the Bull Shark in Australia and caught a small pup, proving that the sharks were breeding in the local rivers. Around the same time, a group of scientists in South Africa made a shocking discovery: the largest Bull Shark ever caught, and it was found in a river. Now the team is back, and they've brought Jeremy with them in hopes of finding out if this was a horrifying fluke, or if the sharks have made the river their homes. Jeremy discovers that the largely populated river is full of sharks, yet nobody has ever been attacked. Wade realizes the reason why these fish are in this river as well as why there have been no attacks, and lands two of his biggest catches yet. 

Season 3: 2011[edit]

No. in
series
Title Original air date Unhooked air date
15 "The Mutilator" 10 April 2011 (2011-04-10) 29 May 2011 (2011-05-29)

Featured Animals: Red bellied pacu, Saltwater crocodile

Deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, two separate deaths have attracted the media: two men were found to have bled to death in the Sepik River as a result of a "ball-cutter" attacking villagers. Jeremy Wade travels to this unexplored river to uncover the creature responsible. While fishing for a possible food source, Wade makes an unusual discovery: a Pacu. These fish are related to the Piranha and are from South America, where they use their strange human-like teeth to eat nuts and fruits. Wade makes a terrible discovery about the seemingly-placid pacus living in the Sepik. 
16 "Flesh Ripper" 17 April 2011 (2011-04-17) 24 May 2011 (2011-05-24)

Featured Animals: New Zealand longfin eel

After reading reports of flesh-eating eels in New Zealand, Jeremy Wade journeys to a land which he always thought a safe place to swim. Captain James Cook's memoirs and Māori folklore's tell of man-eating snake-like creatures. He treks into the Waitomo Caves and Lake Manapouri and discovers just how savage and dangerous these "devourers of men" can be. Armed with razor-sharp teeth which prevent escape, these eels spin and tear off bits of flesh like a crocodile. Although he already knows they have the ability to cause serious harm, Wade still must determine if they have the attitude to attack a human in order to find out if they deserve their reputation. The only way to do this is to put himself on the menu. 
17 "Silent Assassin" 24 April 2011 (2011-04-24) 26 May 2011 (2011-05-26)

Featured Animals: Short-tailed river stingray, Speckled Piranha, Surubi catfish, Golden Dorado

On Argentina's Paraná River, a young girl was killed by a river stingray. Venturing to a country he's never been to before, to face a fish he's never heard of before, Jeremy travels to this river in order to find the killer: the Shorttail River Stingray, which grows to 6 feet across. Unlike Thailand's Giant Freshwater Stingray, this fish isn't long or wide. Instead it is thick and heavy, with a short, clublike tail with which it delivers its venomous sting. After hearing many more reports of attacks, Jeremy becomes determined to face this beast, which can glue itself to the river bottom like a suction cup. Its strength is then proven as Wade hooks into this tank-like fish in what is his longest battle to date. 
18 "Chainsaw Predator" 1 May 2011 (2011-05-01) 28 May 2011 (2011-05-28)

Featured Animals: Freshwater Sawfish, Bull shark, Barramundi, Saltwater Crocodile, Black Mangrove Crab

25 years ago, Jeremy Wade was in a hardware store in the Amazon when he came across a weapon more sinister than any he had seen before. It was a yard long and studded on each side with 2 inch long teeth. This strange weapon was the snout of a Sawfish: a 20-foot relative of the rays which has been known to swim hundreds of miles upriver. Reports claim this shark-like fish hacks boats apart and saws people in half, feasting on their flesh. Wade travels to the Fitzroy River in Australia in order to find out if this critically endangered creature deserves its reputation as a river monster and why it swims so far up rivers. After being plagued by crocodiles and sharks, (which, ironically, he had previously traveled to Australia to find, yet didn't catch one for weeks) Wade hooks into this bladed beast and reels in a 7-foot monster. The episode is dedicated in memory of wildlife expert Malcolm Douglas, who died in a car accident shortly after filming. 
19 "Electric Executioner" 15 May 2011 (2011-05-15) 23 May 2011 (2011-05-23)

Featured Animals: Electric Eel, Black Piranha, White Blotched River Stingray, Redtail catfish, Marbled Swamp Eel, Common Trahira, Fidalgo.

Jeremy Wade returns to the Amazon to search for a mysterious and deadly killer with a reputation to match its awesome ability. Hearing the stories of three cowboys in Pará dying at the same time without any bite marks on them, he rules out piranhas and stingrays. After hearing a witness's claim, he concludes that the killer was an Electric Eel: an 8-foot, snake-like fish that possesses the bizarre ability to produce up to 600 volts of electricity. Following stories of "invisible powers", he journeys all over Brazil, searching for the elusive fish. Jeremy then comes across a story that confirms the eel's ability to kill a man, but he still tries to find out if it can kill three as the story claims. After searching through the smallest of ponds he can find in the dry season, he finally finds a large eel in little more than a mud-puddle. After fishing it out, Wade makes a startling discovery that could possibly explain three men dying at once. 
20 "Cold Blooded Horror" 22 May 2011 (2011-05-22) 25 May 2011 (2011-05-25)

Featured Animals: Japanese Giant Salamander, Chinese Giant Salamander, Chinese/Japanese Hybrid Salamander, Giant Lake Biwa Catfish, Amur catfish, Tiger Pufferfish, Turtle

For the first time in his life, Jeremy Wade travels to Japan to learn more about its legendary river monsters. In a Tokyo fish market, he interviews many fisherman and uncovers two seemingly unbelievable stories: the Namazu, an enormous catfish that supposedly causes the numerous earthquakes in Japan whenever it wriggles its huge body; and the Kappa, a gremlin-like beast that drags children underwater and devours their souls. On Lake Biwa, Wade investigates the origin of the namazu legend as well as searches for a connection between catfish and earthquakes. After finding a reasonable explanation, he turns his attention to the Kappa. After visiting a shrine to the creature, he finds an alleged mummified kappa and starts wondering if the kappa isn't a fish, but something else entirely. Wade speaks with a scientist about what other creatures live in Japanese rivers, and he learns of a creature known as the Hanzaki, which can grow to 6 feet. Diving into a swift-moving stream, Jeremy comes face-to-face with the strangest and most unexpected river monster he's ever met. 
21 "Jungle Killer" 30 May 2011 (2011-05-30) 1 June 2011 (2011-06-01)

Featured Animals: Giant Wolf Fish, Redeye Piranha, Redtail catfish, Common Trahira, Black Piranha, Spectacled Caiman

Everyone knows the piranha is the deadliest fish in South America, but is there a little-known fish that is even more vicious and aggressive than the supposed "flesh-eating piranha"? After receiving a report of a diver being brutally attacked, Jeremy Wade travels to Brokopondo Reservoir in the remote jungles of Suriname, where he interviews the victim and hears his idea of the culprit. The man claims the fish was the much-feared "anjumara", a Wolf Fish: a large, aggressive predator with razor-sharp teeth. Wade travels deep into the jungle in search of a monster fish and uncovers more reports of their savagery, attacking people and animals on both land and sea. After a "shocking" event and a plague of piranha and caiman, Jeremy comes face-to-face with what is perhaps South America's most vicious fish. 

Season 4: 2012[edit]

No. in
series
Title Original air date Unhooked air date
22 "American Killers" 1 April 2012 (2012-04-01) 21 May 2012 (2012-05-21)

Featured Animals: Bull Shark, Atlantic tarpon, Atlantic Goliath Grouper, Alligator gar, Longnose gar, American Paddlefish, Blue catfish, Flathead Catfish, Channel Catfish

Jeremy Wade has travelled all over the world looking for killer freshwater fish. He has been down the Amazon, deep in the heart of Africa, in the murkiest swamps, in the Alaskan subarctic, and everywhere in between. But are there dangerous killers lurking in the lakes and rivers of the United States? Travelling to Florida, Jeremy once again encounters the bull shark, a species known to swim in freshwater, which he has faced before in Australia and South Africa. Bull sharks are believed to have been responsible for the Jersey Shore Shark Attacks of 1916, which inspired the 1974 novel Jaws. Three of the five attacks that occurred took place in a freshwater river. Following reports of sharks prowling the freshwater canals of Florida, Jeremy once again reels in a monster shark, as well as a little extra.

Next, Wade returns to Texas' Trinity River, for a rematch with the alligator gar. In season 1, he had caught a 7-foot female gar and concluded that the fish had no interest in attacking people. Now, reports have surfaced that gar in Texas are once again reaching lengths of up to 14 feet, the perfect size for a potential killer. Having already experienced their impenetrable armour and razor sharp teeth, Jeremy follows reports of giant gar all over the Trinity, only to find possible evidence of giant gar in a very unexpected place.

Then, Jeremy turns his attention to the Lake of the Ozarks, America's 3rd most dangerous lake, to investigate stories of catfish growing to man-eating proportions. Local divers have allegedly witnessed giant catfish and been too scared to dive in the lake again. Jeremy uncovers unbelievable stories of catfish eating already deceased humans, but he wonders if a catfish could ever be big enough or strong enough to kill a person. He finds his answer in Oklahoma, where people catch catfish in a very unusual and dangerous method. 
23 "Pack of Teeth" 8 April 2012 (2012-04-08) 21 May 2012 (2012-05-21)

Featured Animals: African Tigerfish, Redbreast tilapia, African Sharptooth Catfish, African Pike, Great Egret, Nile Crocodile

In the Okavango River delta in Botswana, a ferry tips over. All the passengers die, and their bodies are retrieved stripped of flesh. Authorities write it off as crocodiles, but Jeremy Wade isn't so sure. The corpse resemble those devoured by piranha and beggars the question if this was another case of an introduced species running amok. Travelling to the murky swamps of the delta, he is informed of a fish known locally as the ndweshi, which swarms in packs and is greatly feared. Described as long and muscular, with large teeth and horizontal black stripes, Jeremy goes hunting for a fish to match the description. Following a flock of birds, he finds a group of large predatory fish causing a commotion in the water. Casting out, he lands an African Tigerfish, a smaller cousin of the Goliath Tigerfish he caught in season 2. Believing to have found the ndweshi, he tries to discover if they really are pack-hunting killers. Hearing of a rare event believed to attract large numbers of tigerfish, Wade sets out only to find himself in the middle of a feeding frenzy. 
24 "Invisible Executioner" 15 April 2012 (2012-04-15) 22 May 2012 (2012-05-22)

Featured Animals: Vundu, Brown Squeaker, African Tigerfish, African Sharptooth Catfish, Hippopotamus

After hearing reports of fishermen disappearing in the Zambezi River in Zambia, Jeremy Wade journeys there to uncover the truth behind their deaths. He hears tales of a man getting pulled in and drowning in the rapids after hooking into a monster fish. The natives believe it to be the work of a large, serpentine fish the size of a man. They also tell Wade of a snakelike river spirit called Nyaminyami, who is angry at the Kariba Dam for blocking its river. Believing Nyaminyami to be inspired from the killer fish, he travels to Lake Kariba to find the beast. After nearly being capsized in a storm, Jeremy hears reports of small toddlers and children being eaten by the fish, known locally as "Mazunda," as well as a fisherman being dragged to the depths beneath the dam. Interviewing a witness of the "Mazunda," Wade learns of the Vundu Catfish, southern Africa's largest fish. Travelling all over the Zambezi, Jeremy gains access to the prohibited waters directly beneath the dam, where he finally hooks into a monster.

Note* The Vundu catfish was also featured in the Season 2 episode "Congo Killers," no mention was made in this episode of ever having caught it before. 
25 "Asian Slayer" 22 April 2012 (2012-04-22)

Featured Animals: Sareng Catfish, Golden Mahseer, Asian Redtail Catfish, Amazon redtail catfish, Chinese Seerfish, Mekong Giant Catfish, Asian Elephant, Tiger

Jeremy Wade's journey into extreme fishing started in India, where he caught large Mahseer, and where he later caught a massive Goonch that had been killing bathers. Now, he returns following reports of a new predator, capable of taking pets and small children. Looking around, he uncovers its identity: the Sareng Catfish, a streamlined predator with long jaws and sharp teeth. He also finds a problem: the sareng is sacred in India's Hindu religion and harming it is believed to curse you with bad luck. Almost immediately he encounters problems when the lake where he is fishing is closed and tries his luck in the wilderness of Corbett National Park, sharing the territory with man-eating tigers and wild elephants. The monsoon comes early and the fish are not biting, forcing him to leave the river. In order to escape what appears to be the wrath of the gods, he travels to Thailand to a lake inhabited by sareng, as well as countless other introduced river monsters. Despite not being a Hindu country, Thailand offers no protection from the gods as Jeremy seemingly catches every fish, especially Red-tailed catfish, in the lake but the sareng. Deciding to face his demons instead of running from them, he returns to India to take part in a Hindu blessing, in order to appease the gods and convince them he means the fish no harm. Returning to the river, Jeremy finds he may have finally met his match.

Note* The Sareng was caught in the Lost Reels episode: Himalayan Giants, but was not mentioned here. 
26 "Killer Sharks and Rays" 29 April 2012 (2012-04-29)

Featured Animals: White Blotched River Stingray, Short-Tailed River Stingray, Speckled Piranha, Gray Reef Shark, Bull Shark, Freshwater Sawfish

Jeremy Wade relives his most memorable encounters with deadly sharks and rays. 
27 "Russian Killer" 6 May 2012 (2012-05-06) 24 May 2012 (2012-05-24)

Featured Animals: Kaluga, Chum Salmon, Amur catfish, Soldatov's Catfish, Amur sturgeon, Bearded Seal

Chasing reports of three fishermen disappearing without a trace, Jeremy Wade ventures to the far east of Russia to investigate the Amur River. There, he interviews some of the locals. They mention that there is some kind of large fish in the river, but they don't tell him anything else. Believing that they are keeping some sort of secret, he talks to a local biologist, who tells him of an encounter with the Kaluga: a predatory freshwater sturgeon species known to grow up to 18 feet long. Armed with an enormous mouth, this fish could easily drag people in the water when hooked. After the fall of the Soviet Union, a sudden surge of fishing nearly wiped them out, as they produce delicious caviar. Now, people keep up illegal fishing for them and tell nobody, explaining the locals' secretive behaviour involving the fish. Journeying with a team of biologists who can legally catch the fish for research, Jeremy sets out to catch what may be the last of these monstrous fish. 
28 "Mongolian Mauler" 13 May 2012 (2012-05-13) 25 May 2012 (2012-05-25)

Featured Animals: Taimen, Siberian Dace, Lenok, Arctic grayling, Siberian Pit Viper

Jeremy Wade had wanted to catch large fish since he was a child. One fish that interested him was the Taimen: a very large relative of the trouts and a very popular game fish with tourists. Due to heavy fishing for these trophies, their numbers have greatly declined. When new reports surface of violent attacks on people, Jeremy seizes the opportunity to reel in one of the last giant Taimen and travels to the wild frontiers of northern Mongolia, the Taimen's last stronghold. Upon his arrival he immediately runs into a big problem: Mongolians are not keen fishers and believe that killing fish brings ill fortune. Trekking deep into the wilderness to the Delger-Moron River, he braves venomous vipers, violent gangs of gold prospectors and dangerous rapids. The legendary Taimen proves elusive and his Mongolian guide brings in a shaman in hopes of appeasing the river spirit. 
29 "Phantom Assassin" 20 May 2012 (2012-05-20) 23 May 2012 (2012-05-23)

Featured Animals: Northern river shark, Bull Shark, Barramundi, Freshwater Sawfish, Freshwater whipray, Winghead shark, King threadfin, Saltwater Crocodile, Black Mangrove Crab

Most people think sharks and rays are purely sea creatures, but Jeremy Wade knows different. He's caught large freshwater stingrays in Argentina and Thailand, and a Sawfish that could live in freshwater in Australia. He has also caught Bull Sharks in South Africa, Australia and Florida. Bull Sharks are salt water fish that have an unusual ability to tolerate freshwater, but are there other sharks with this same ability? Not 10 years ago, scientists discovered a new genus of rare sharks known as Glyphis sharks who can not only tolerate freshwater, but are purely freshwater fish. When a report of an unidentified attack on a person in Australia's Fitzroy River emerges, Jeremy wade journeys down under, wondering if the attacker was a Northern River Shark, a species of Glyphis Shark, and be one of the only people to catch one. Ruling out crocodiles and Bull Sharks, Jeremy determines that the little-known shark just might be the culprit. Joining a group of scientists, he sets out to a very dangerous body of water, only to make a discovery that could reveal the truth behind the attack. Then, battling both the odds and the tides, Jeremy hooks into a mysterious predator and becomes the first man to film it alive. 
30 "Lair of Giants" 27 May 2012 (2012-05-27) 28 May 2012 (2012-05-28)

Featured Animals: Laulao Catfish, Barbado Catfish, Payara, Redtail catfish, Red Bellied Piranha, Jau Catfish, Common Pacu, Giant Wolf Fish, Arapaima, Black Caiman, Green Anaconda, Goliath Tarantula

The season four finale episode is a two-hour look into one of the most challenging expeditions of Jeremy Wade's life. He'll travel to the isolated and untouched jungles of Guyana, South America, where early explorers wrote about a river system filled with mysterious giants. Armed with only old journals and his rod, Wade embarks on an epic journey where he'll tackle the Essequibo — South America's third largest and largely unconquered river. He immerses himself in the culture of the Mucushi and must earn the trust of these native people in order to gather their knowledge and hear their stories. Once again he'll set out to separate fact from fiction. His last and greatest catch turns out to be a species of Arapaima new to science. 

Season 5: 2013[edit]

No. in
series
Title Original air date Unhooked air date
31 "Face Ripper" 7 April 2013 (2013-04-07) 20 May 2013 (2013-05-20)

Featured Animals: Black Piranha, Largespot River Stingray, Flatwhisker Catfish, Red Bellied Piranha, Payara, Butterfly Peacock Bass, Arapaima, Piraiba, Black Caiman

When a story surfaces of a man in Bolivia who had his face ripped off by something in the water, Jeremy Wade ventures deep into the South American jungle to find out what kind of horrible monster could be capable of this. Casting his line out, he catches nothing but piranha, but his previous experiments in Season 1 proved that piranha won't attack unless under special circumstances, so he immediately dismisses them as the culprit. But then, an interview with the doctor who performed the post-mortem on the victim reveals piranhas as the victims. Intrigued by this change in behaviour, Jeremy assumes it must be some new species. Travelling to a flooded forest, he is once again surprised to find Black Piranha, which are usually solitary hunters, engaging in very aggressive pack behaviour. Jeremy assumes these newly aggressive Black Piranha must be the culprit, until an interview with a witness reveals that it was Red Bellied Piranhas that ate the man's face. As this goes against his previous findings on piranha behaviour, Jeremy suspects that there must be some introduced predator in the river system that is making the piranha turn to man-eating tendencies. Investigating, Jeremy finds himself once again going face to face with what is perhaps his greatest adversary. 
32 "Atomic Assasin" 14 April 2013 (2013-04-14) 17 May 2013 (2013-05-17)

Featured Animals: Wels Catfish, Northern Pike, European Perch, Volga Zander, European Chub, Marsh Tit

Following tales of a massive fish in Ukraine said to have tried to drag a man to his death, Jeremy Wade heads to the rural lakes of the former Soviet Union chasing the culprit. Asking around, he learns that there is indeed a large fish in the lake, but the local name is not familiar to him. Interviewing more locals, Jeremy learns of another attack, in which a repairman was diving in a cooling pool at a nuclear power plant when his arm was ripped off by a massive fish. When he asks for the name of the power plant, Jeremy's fears are realised: Chernobyl, home of the worst nuclear accident in history. Believing the contaminated waters to be the home to some kind of mutant monster, Jeremy travels to the abandoned and radioactive city of Pripyat to hunt down the beast. There, he finds a picture of the beast, and discovers it to be the massive Wels Catfish, a monster Jeremy has battled before. Putting himself in danger of radiation exposure, Jeremy fishes right in the shadow of the nuclear reactor and he comes face to face with a mutant river monster. 
33 "Killer Torpedo" 21 April 2013 (2013-04-21) 23 May 2013 (2013-05-23)

Featured Animals: Atlantic tarpon, Yellow jack, Serra Spanish mackerel, Black Vulture, Crab, Shrimp, Catfish, mullet

Jeremy searches for a large species of tarpon that supposedly jumps out of the water and knocks fishermen out of their boats. He is confronted with one on the first day of fishing, but has no idea what it is. He soon finds these fish to be Atlantic tarpon living in the brackish waters of Nicaragua. He then has one of his longest battles yet in a foot powered raft using a fly rod in a remote river with a 130 pound tarpon. 
34 "Colombian Slasher" 5 May 2013 (2013-05-05) 24 May 2013 (2013-05-24)

Featured Animals: Thorny River Stingray, Discus Ray, Red Bellied Piranha, Ocellated River Stingray, Cuiu-Cuiu Catfish, Fidalgo, Piraiba, Arapaima

Jeremy arrives in Colombia's area of the Amazon, hearing the story of a bride that was attacked by an unidentified creature. As he searches for the mystery, he faces the dense and deadly jungles, as well as Colombian rebel groups
35 "Vampires of the Deep" 12 May 2013 (2013-05-12) 26 May 2013 (2013-05-26)

Featured Animals: Sea Lamprey, Pacific Lamprey, Longnose Gar, Bowfin, Greater redhorse, European Carp, Lake Trout

In a journey that will take him to the heart of a thundering waterfall in the Pacific Northwest, extreme angler Jeremy Wade embarks on a punishing mission to battle the most ancient river monster he’s ever encountered, and reveal the true identity of the Vampires of the Deep. 
36 "Legend of Loch Ness" 27 May 2013 (2013-05-27)  ()

Featured Animals: Greenland Shark, European Eel, Atlantic Cod, Coalfish, European plaice, Haddock, Arctic Char, Brown Trout, Norwegian Skate, Blackmouth Dogfish, Atlantic wolffish, Bottlenose Dolphin

For more than 30 years, hardened angler Jeremy Wade has taken on the world’s most legendary river monsters but one - the Loch Ness Monster. It’s a challenge he’s been reluctant to take on … until now. But can the freshwater detective succeed where so many have failed and uncover the true identity of the creature behind the myth? This expedition takes him from Scotland to Iceland to Norway, where his journey ends in a deep, black fjord 

Season 6: 2014[edit]

No. in
series
Title Original air date Unhooked air date
37 "Amazon Apocalypse" 6 April 2014 (2014-04-06)

Featured Animals: Redtail catfish, Piraiba, Silver Tetra, Red Bellied Piranha, Cuiu-cuiu, Candiru-Acu, Piracatinga, Black Piranha, Black Caiman, Amazon River Dolphin

After more than 200 passengers perished on a river boat on a pitch-black night and rumors circulated that something picked off survivors in the water as they attempted to get to shore, Wade is on the hunt to find out exactly what fish was behind this massive attack. 
38 "Jungle Terminator" 13 April 2014 (2014-04-13)

Featured Animals: Electric Eel, Red Bellied Piranha, Surubi, Redtail catfish

Three mysterious deaths in three countries lead Wade on an adventure where he must team up with a remote and secretive tribe that has a unique and death-defying way of catching these culprits! 
39 "Bone Crusher" 20 April 2014 (2014-04-20)

Featured Animals:

When Brazilian locals uncover a corpse with highly unusual injuries and then an increase in missing persons cases are reported, Wade must confront one of his greatest fears to solve the mystery. 
40 "Man-Eating Monster" 27 April 2014 (2014-04-27)

Featured Animals: Piraiba

Locals call it the lau-lau, a creature so huge it's said to swallow men whole, and Wade sets his sight on a specimen that is colossal in size and strength. 
41 "River of Blood" 4 May 2014 (2014-05-04)

Featured Animals:

A brutal underwater mutilation of a young man leads Wade to a face-to-face confrontation with one of South America's greatest freshwater fighting fish that slashes and stalks its prey while living in one of Argentina's most dangerous waterways. 
42 "Killer Siren" 11 May 2014 (2014-05-11)

Featured Animals:

In the remote rivers of Guyana, Wade is on the hunt for a potential news species and newest candidate for largest freshwater fish in the world – a legendary predator freshwater mermaid or siren that could be real. 

The Lost Reels[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1 "Amazonian Giant" 27 May 2011 (2011-05-27)

Featured Animals: Arapaima, River stingray, Black Piranha, Redtail catfish

Jeremy Wade ventures to the Amazon to face the legendary Arapaima, but gets more than he bargained for when his plane crashes and he feels the full force of these powerful animals. 
2 "Himalayan Giant" 27 May 2011 (2011-05-27)

Featured Animals: Goonch, Golden mahseer, Dwarf snakehead, Carp, Indian flapshell turtle, Mully catfish, Flathead catfish

After reading about monster fish in India, Jeremy Wade travels to the Himalayas to catch a monster himself. After hearing stories at the local fish markets, he encounters predators, giants and one chilling story about a monster fish that has an appetite for human flesh. 

Specials[edit]

No. in
series
Title Original air date
1 "Killer Catfish-Special Cut (2 hours)" 31 May 2010 (2010-05-31)

Featured Animals: Goonch catfish, Mugger crocodile, Indian Flapshell Turtle, Golden mahseer

Jeremy arrives at the Kali River in India, where a number of mysterious drownings have occurred. He investigates the possibilities of the culprit being whirlpools or crocodiles, but determines neither fit. Wade eventually finds out of a little-known catfish species that can grow to a large size: the Goonch, or Giant Devil Catfish. He reasons that, since funeral pyres are done at the shore of the river, the fish feed off the burnt human remains. This would allow them to reach man-eating size, as well as giving them a taste of people. Jeremy then must face off against a large goonch which may prove there are monster goonch ready to eat people. Believing to have proven his point, he prepares to leave. Casting his line one last time, Jeremy hooks an even bigger monster and has a brief encounter with what may just be the Kali Killer. 
2 "The Deadliest" 3 April 2011 (2011-04-03)

Featured Animals: Piranha, Bull shark, Queensland grouper, Giant snakehead, Goliath tigerfish

Jeremy Wade tells of the most dangerous of all the River Monsters he's ever faced.

Episodes Featured

"Piranha"- Jeremy tosses a dead duck in the water and witnesses the ferocity of the flesh-eating piranha.

"Freshwater Shark"- Jeremy hooks into a goliath fish; Jeremy proves that sharks aren't just sea monsters.

"Killer Snakehead"- Jeremy dives into a school of snakehead young in order to find their murderous parents.

"Demon Fish"- Jeremy faces the ultimate river monster: the Goliath Tigerfish. 
3 "The Most Bizarre" 8 May 2011 (2011-05-08)

Featured Animals: Piraíba catfish, Payara, Silver carp, Candiru-Acù, Redtail catfish, Candiru, Alligator gar, Marbled lungfish, Amazon River Dolphin

Recalling an encounter with a mysterious animal he sighted in the Amazon, Jeremy Wade relives his encounters with the world's most bizarre freshwater fish, and reveals the identity of his mystery creature.

Episodes Featured

"Amazon Flesh Eaters"- Jeremy comes face to face with a fish capable of swallowing a man whole: Jeremy finds a gruesome scene of how aggressive Amazon fish are; Jeremy meets the fish that devours you from the inside-out; Jeremy uncovers a shocking tale of a fish entering the body of a man in the most horrifying of places; Jeremy meets a very unusual catfish.

"Alligator Gar"- Jeremy encounters a monster fish with a deadly set of teeth in the Deep South.

"Congo Killers"- Jeremy meets some villagers with a very bizarre fish that can breathe air. 
4 "River Monsters Goes Tribal" 29 May 2011 (2011-05-29)

Featured Animals:Fringelip Mullet, Gray reef shark, Crocodile Needlefish

Jeremy Wade travels to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific to put his fishing skills to the test. Living with an island tribe with ancient customs, he learns of their traditional and even unusual fishing methods using bows, vines, and spiderwebs. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and the Sea, read nearly four decades earlier, Jeremy finally achieves his lifelong dream of landing a shark simply with a baited handline...and no less in a dugout canoe
5 "Killer Sharks and Rays" 29 April 2012

Featured Animals: White Blotched River Stingray, Short-Tailed River Stingray, Speckled Piranha, Gray Reef Shark, Bull Shark, Freshwater Sawfish

Jeremy Wade relives his most memorable encounters with deadly sharks and rays.

Episodes Featured

"Electric Executioner"- Jeremy reels in an unusual-looking stingray.

"Silent Assassin"- Jeremy hooks into a massive river stingray in the longest battle on the show to date.

"River Monsters Goes Tribal"- After gaining the tribe's trust, Jeremy lives his dream of reeling in a full-grown shark, with his bare hands.

"Freshwater Shark"- Jeremy discovers that Bull Sharks not only live in rivers, but breed in them.

"Hidden Predator"- Jeremy lands an enormous Bull Shark, in a heavily populated river.

"Chainsaw Predator"- Jeremy finds an elusive species of ray that swims up rivers, and wields the most terrifying weapon of all time. 
6 "Killer Weapons" 22 May 2012

Featured Animals: Freshwater Sawfish, Red-bellied Pacu, Electric Eel, New Zealand longfin eel, Bull Shark, Candiru, Short-tailed river stingray

Episodes Featured "Chainsaw Predetor" - Jeremy goes trough and gets a dangerous sawfish.

"Electric Executioner" - Jeremey finds the utuimate eel. "Flesh Riper" - Jeremey fishes an eel in New Zealand. "Hidden Predetor" - Wade finds a camouflaged shark in Australia. Amazon Flesheaters - Wade goes to Amazon River and catches the candiru. 
7 "Lethal Legends" 23 May 2012

Featured Animals: Japanese Giant Salamander, White sturgeon, Sareng Catfish, Taimen, New Zealand longfin eel, Vundu

Episodes Featured

"Cold Blooded Horror" - Jeremy caught a Japanese Giant Salamander by hand.

"Alaskan Horror" - Jeremy caught a White sturgeon

"Asian Slayer" - Jeremy encounters problems when he tries to fish for the Sareng Catfish, a fish sacred in Hindu religion.

"Mongolian Mauler" - Catching Taimen in Mongolia is considered bad luck so Jeremy visited a shaman to appease the spirit of the river. His offering paid off and he managed to catch a Taimen

"Flesh Ripper" - Jeremy caught a New Zealand longfin eel using a technique he learnt from a local fisherman.

"Invisible Executioner" - Jeremy investigated the legend of Nyaminyami, a snakelike river spirit. He hooked a vundu after he was given permission to fish in a restricted directly beneath a dam. 
8 "Deadliest Encounters" 24 May 2012

Featured Animals: Giant Wolf Fish, Arapaima, Flathead Catfish, Giant snakehead, Gray reef shark, Nile Tilapia, Sockeye Salmon

Jeremy recounted some of his closest call with death with forces beyond his control that nearly turned danger into disaster.

Episodes Featured "Jungle Killer" - Jeremy and his crew were struck by lighting while fishing for Giant Wolf Fish in Suriname, Brazil.

"Amazon Assassins" - Having once being injured by Arapaima, Jeremy tried to overcame his fear for the fish by helping some Arapaima fisherman at a fish farm. Out in the wild, Jeremy managed to catch a giant 150lb Arapaima.

"American Killers"- Jermey tried hand-catching for Flathead Catfish in Oklahoma.

"Killer Snakehead" - Jeremy travelled to Thailand and hunted for Giant snakehead in a murky river with his guide using a rusty hand-made spear gun.

"River Monsters Goes Tribal" - Jeremy dived into a reef full of sharks without getting bitten.

"Rift Valley Killers" - Jeremy encountered crocodile and hippopotamus while helping the local fisherman tend their fishing nets for Nile Tilapia.

"Alaskan Horror" - Jeremy travelled to Alaska to fish for Sockeye Salmon. The first salmon he caught was stolen by a Grizzly Bear cub. 
9 "Deadliest Catfish" 27 May 2012

Featured Animals: Goonch Catfish, Piraiba Catfish, Blue catfish, Flathead Catfish, Wels Catfish, Vundu Catfish, Sareng Catfish, Candiru Catfish, Candiru Acu Catfish,

Jeremy remembers some of his encounters with the catfish family over the years.

Episodes Featured "European Maneater" - Jeremy investigates Wels Catfish where medieval accounts reported a aggressive maneater that swallow man whole.

"Amazon Flesheaters" - Jeremy catches the Redtail catfish. He also find the Candiru which has entered a man's body through his urethra. Finally, he investigates the Candiru-Acù, a small catfish that dills hole in dead or dying animals before eating them from inside.

"American Killers" - Jeremy catches Blue catfish and Channel Catfish at the Lake of the Ozarks.

"Amazon Flesheaters" - Jeremy catches the Amazon's largest catfish, an 80 lb Piraiba Catfish.

"Asian Slayer" - Jeremy investigates the Sareng Catfish in India.

"Killer Catfish" - Jeremy attempts to catch a Goonch Catfish which has reportedly grew to man-eating size. 
10 "Year of Beasts" 20 May 2013
Jeremy recounts the exciting adventures of season 5, as he faces never before seen stunts in search of true monsters. 
11 "Top 10 Beasts" 24 May 2013
Jeremy counts down the greatest beasts who have taken over 30 years to track down. 
12 "Worst Nightmares" 31 October 2013
Jeremy relives the encounters that have haunted him over time. 

Reception[edit]

Broadcast ratings[edit]

Season one[edit]

River Monsters had the best series premiere in Animal Planet's network history by delivering 1.3 million viewers. It was also its most watched regularly airing primetime telecast in over six years.[3] The second episode of Animal Planet's River Monsters delivered a 39% boost in total viewers (1.866 million) compared to the series premiere. Those numbers made it the best performing regularly scheduled primetime telecast in Animal Planet's history.[4] The first season of River Monsters made it the best performing show in Animal Planet's history with every episode averaging over 1 million households. The season finale delivered about 1.47 million households.[5]

Season two[edit]

Its second season premiere episode became the network's best season premiere ever. It drew in 1.7 million total viewers.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marshall, Harry (23 July 2009). "'Presenting' Natural History". TBI Magazine. Informa Telecoms & Media. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Official website
  3. ^ River Monsters Delivers Best Premiere Numbers In Animal Planet History Broadcasting & Cable
  4. ^ Cable Ratings: Animal Planet's River Monsters A Ratings Monster Broadcasting & Cable
  5. ^ River Monsters is TV ratings hit Times of the Internet
  6. ^ Cable Ratings: River Monsters Brings Record Haul To Animal Planet Broadcasting & Cable

External links[edit]