RENO, NV - The biggest freshwater fish can be found in places like Brazil, Thailand and even rivers and lakes across the United States. These megafish can live very long lives, but UNR assistant research professor Zeb Hogan says they are getting harder to find.
"They're rare. About 70% of these fish are endangered," he says.
Hogan has worked in the biology department at the University of Nevada, Reno since 2006, spending much of his time studying Lahontan cutthroat trout at Summit Lake. When he's not doing research for the college or teaching in the classroom, Zeb is studying and helping protect massive freshwater fish around the world.
"Some of the things I learn or I'm studying internationally I can bring back here to Nevada. Some of the things, the resources we have here at the university, I can take internationally," he says.
Hogan spends time each year traveling and filming a show he hosts for National Geographic called "Monster Fish". The show airs on Nat Geo Wild and is in its 5th season. This year the focus will be on unusual fish, like the Speartooth River Shark of Northern Australia or the Vampire Fish found in South America.
"We're trying to show people something they haven't seen before so that they can discover a new place or a new fish just like I am," says Hogan.
One of Hogan's biggest challenges is balancing his job at the university with his travels for National Geographic. When he goes to film the show he often has to spend 3 months in the wild.
"We were out in the jungle, traveling down river by boat for 2 weeks. We're usually camping and we have to bring a generator with us to power our equipment at night," he says.
You can catch Hogan on "Monster Fish" for the next 5 weeks. The show airs Monday nights at 6pm on Nat Geo Wild.