In December 2023, we successfully completed our surveys of the fish fauna and macrozoobenthos in a river in the far north-west of Nepal. Fortunately, we had a helicopter at our disposal during the trip to the inaccessible region to meet our ambitious schedule.
Impressive rock paintings could be seen in the middle of the steep, raging river. But who is the “artist” behind them?
It is Schizothorax richardsonii – a local snow trout species that feeds on the periphyton on the rocks and lives the rivers in the Himalayas up to around 3000 m above sea level. During the night, the fish come to the surface to eat the algae, which are particularly thick and tasty here. During the day, the strong, slender fish hide behind large stones near the bottom of the water. But we found them!