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June 25, 2013
By Mike Wolterbeek
University of Nevada, Reno researcher Zeb Hogan travels the globe finding, studying and protecting the world's largest freshwater fish - megafish like six-foot trout in Mongolia, 135-pound sturgeon in Spain or 14-foot-long stingrays in Thailand. He chronicles his travels on the National Geographic Channel show Monster Fish, which begins its fourth season July 5.
Hogan's show offers a mix of science, adventure, and exploration around the world, with challenges such as expeditions up the Amazon and the remote Rio Roosevelt, a rugged 400-mile-long river in western Brazil that may not have been traveled since Theodore Roosevelt attempted it in 1913.
"This year's shows document my 30,000-mile voyage, from Florida to Alaska and from Malaysia to the Mississippi, in search of the world's largest, most elusive freshwater fish. The goal: to separate fish fact from fiction in some of the remotest rivers and lakes on the planet".
The shows and their air dates for the new season are Giant Catfish, July 5; Salmonzilla, July 12; Green Goliath, July 19; 600-pound Goldfish, July 26; Jungle Jaws, Aug. 2 and River Shark! July 9. The shows air at 10 p.m. For more details about the show go to tinyurl.com/mlq7zhh.
Hogan, a research professor in the University's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, has worked with nearly 100 scientists on this project, which spans six continents (North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia) and encompasses 10 of Earth's most diverse freshwater ecosystems - ecological treasures - including World Heritage Sites, Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, and United Nations Environment Program Biodiversity Hotspots.
Other sites include (among others) the Amazon River, the Mekong River, the Mississippi River, the Nile, the Lake Baikal watershed in Russia, the Murray-Darling River in Australia, the tributaries of the Danube and the Yangtze River in China.
He also works to establish conservation programs in these areas to protect the threatened fish. Partly as a result of Hogan's work with the governments of Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos, it is now illegal to capture the Mekong giant catfish in those countries. Hogan has also worked with groups in the United States, such as along the Kootenai River in Idaho on conservation projects.
His national geographic bio can be seen at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/zeb-hogan/.
Monster Fish is produced by National Geographic Television for Nat Geo WILD. For NGT, Geoff Luck is executive producer. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer is Ashley Hoppin, senior vice president of production and development is Janet Han Vissering and general manager is Geoff Daniels.