Renaco tree ( Coussapoa trinervia ) during dry season. At high season, water levels reach the horizontal branches.

Renaco tree (Coussapoa trinervia) during dry season. At high season, water levels reach the horizontal branches.

AMAZON FISH COLLECTING

For upcoming eXPEDITION DATES AND DETAILS, SEE THE EXPEDITION CALENDAR PAGE

Experience the Amazon as few others do. Whether you're a beginning or advanced aquarist, or simply want to be immersed in the Amazon rainforest, a fish-collecting expedition may be your best choice. Our Esperanza riverboat travels the Nanay, Momon, Napo, Apayacu, Mazan and Amazon rivers, stopping 2-4 times per day at different locations and habitats in search of the 200+ species of fish that are typically encountered in a one-week expedition. Try your hand at dip-netting, seining, cast-netting, or rod-and-reel fishing. Fish can be kept aboard in coolers (we have an aeration system) and sent back home to populate your aquaria through arrangements with a commercial aquarium fish exporter in Iquitos. Prized eating fishes can be sent to the kitchen!

Rainforest creeks and pools, palm swamps, mud-flats, sandbars, large-river channels, temporary ponds, and other habitats in both upland and seasonally-flooded forest are accessed, giving you access to a wide array of fishes, photographic opportunities, and experiences. The expedition ends with a visit to the Iquitos exporters facilities, where additional fish can be purchased if desired. We make every effort to ship collected fishes within 3-4 days after the end of the expedition.

Fish collecting is best at low water, so we offer trips at two times during the year. From July-September, water levels are low on the Amazon and its tributaries. From January-March, water levels are low on the Napo River and its tributaries. While there is some overlap in the fish fauna between the two areas, each does have its own specialties. 

OPTIONAL DISCUS COLLECTING!  The Nanay River is the only accessible location in the Peruvian Amazon where discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus) can be collected. These fish are best caught on very dark nights, so for our August trips, we attempt to schedule trips to coincide with the new moon.  A discus fishing excursion is complementary for clients spending both weeks, and can be added on for an additional $125 for clients spending just one week on board. We work with local fish collectors to accompany clients in small canoes that can access the lakes that discus favor.