Lists zones/areas by the fishing skill required to fish open water without catching junk. In Pandaria, excess Golden Carp replace junk. Only skill 1 is needed to fish Pools effectively. The table shows the lowest skilled zone/area that each fish may be caught in open water.

For an introduction to fishing skill, read about Fishing Skill in the Getting Started chapter. For further technical explanation of how skill requirements were researched, see The Role of Skill (Revised) and Zone Base Fishing Skill.

In Draenor, pools and open water can be fished at skill 1, however the higher your effective fishing skill, the more likely you are to catch larger sizes of fish - see Size and Skill for details. The exception is Garrison Fishing, where the size of the fish caught depends on the level of your Fishing Shack, not your skill.

Open Water No-Junk Skill

No-Junk SkillZones and Areas
1Blackrock Mountain, Burning Steppes, Mount Hyjal (Throne of Flame), Southern Barrens (Great Divide), Twilight Highlands (Cannon's Inferno) and Un'Goro Crater (Fire Plume Ridge)
25Azuremyst Isle, Blasted Lands (Tainted Forest), Darkmoon Island, Dun Morogh, Durotar, Elwynn Forest, Eversong Woods, The Lost Isles, Mulgore, Teldrassil and Tirisfal Glades
50Gilneas (Worgen)
75Azshara (General), Blackfathom Deeps, Bloodmyst Isle, Darkshore, Darnassus, The Deadmines, Ghostlands, Gilneas (Ruins), Ironforge, Loch Modan, Northern Barrens (except Oasis), Orgrimmar, Redridge Mountains (General), Silverpine Forest, Stormwind City, Thunder Bluff, Undercity, The Veiled Sea, The Wailing Caverns and Westfall
100Northern Barrens (Oasis)
150Arathi Highlands (General), Ashenvale, Duskwood, Hillsbrad Foothills, Northern Stranglethorn (General), Redridge Mountains (Lake Everstill), Stonetalon Mountains and Wetlands
225Arathi Highlands (Forbidding Sea), The Cape of Stranglethorn, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Feralas (General), The Forbidding Sea, The Great Sea, The Hinterlands, Scarlet Monastery, Southern Barrens (General) and Western Plaguelands
300Azshara (Ruins of Arkkoran), Badlands, Eastern Plaguelands, Felwood, Feralas (Verdantis River), Maraudon, Moonglade, Northern Stranglethorn (South Seas), Tanaris, The Temple of Atal'Hakkar and Thousand Needles
375Hellfire Peninsula, Nagrand (Outland) (Forge Camp Hate), Shadowmoon Valley (Outland) and Un'Goro Crater (General)
400Coilfang Reservoir and Zangarmarsh (East)
425Blasted Lands (Coastal), Deadwind Pass, Dire Maul, Feralas (Jademir Lake), Scholomance, Searing Gorge, Silithus, Stratholme, Swamp of Sorrows and Winterspring
450Isle of Quel'Danas, Terokkar Forest (Rivers) and Zangarmarsh (West)
475Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Howling Fjord, Nagrand (Outland) (General), Netherstorm and Zul'Drak
490Nagrand (Outland) (Lakes)
500Crystalsong Forest and Terokkar Forest (Lakes)
525Dalaran, Sholazar Basin and Wintergrasp
550Deepholm, Hrothgar's Landing, Icecrown, Storm Peaks and Ulduar
575The Frozen Sea, Mount Hyjal (General) and Vashj'ir
625Dread Wastes (Inland), The Jade Forest (Widow's Wail), Kun-Lai Summit (Sha-Touched) and Townlong Steppes (Niuzao)
650The Jade Forest (Inland), The Ruby Sanctum, Twilight Highlands (General) and Uldum
675Tol Barad
700Dread Wastes (Coastal), Isle of Giants, Isle of the Thunder King, The Jade Forest (Coastal), Krasarang Wilds, Kun-Lai Summit (Coastal), Townlong Steppes (Coastal) and Valley of the Four Winds
725Townlong Steppes (Inland)
750Kun-Lai Summit (Inland) and The Veiled Stair
825Timeless Isle and Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Areas with unknown no-junk skill: Crusaders' Coliseum, Icecrown Citadel, Molten Core, Naxxramas, The Obsidian Sanctum, Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub.

Comments about Skill

Below are readers' comments about "Skill":

3.3--no trash in fishing pools?

  • GormanGhaste, October 2009

    I haven't seen anyone mention this on this site yet, so I'll link the source:

    "Don't forget, in patch 3.3.0 you never catch trash from fishing pools, regardless of skill. "

    What does this mean? And why would anyone need to skill up fishing, if pool fishing was always successful?

  • el, October 2009

    I assume it means that with skill 1 you can successfully catch fish from any pool anywhere - even places like The Frozen Sea.

    Update: It's true. Skill 1-6: 5 Glassfin Minnow from a Glassfin Minnow School. 0 Trash. The next 5 casts into open water all yielded junk.

    This means the new Kalu'ak Fishing Derby requires fishing skill 1. Also opens up some interesting new options for leveling fishing - a direct choice between speed and gaining valuable fish.

  • Robodin, October 2009

    There goes the fishing market, if any schmuck with 1 fishing skill can fish up mats for whatever food they need :/

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  • Trigot, October 2009

    This is horrible its just another easy button to lame out the game. Its no longer going to be anything to be proud of because its somthing a lvl 1 can go and do with no fishing skill.

  • DarkMime64, October 2009

    So we level fishing now for... what purpose exactly?

    I'm assuming, then, that a character with 1 skill in Cooking can make a Fish Feast, too.
    And someone with 1 skill in First Aid can make Frostweave Bandages.

    No? Oh..

  • el, October 2009

    DarkMime64 wrote:

    So we level fishing now for... what purpose exactly?

    To be able to equip that Arcanite Fishing Pole, which gives a +40 bonus to skill, which you need to... erm, hold on. There are still fish that cannot be caught from pools - the Dalaran fountain, Old Azeroth fish used to level cooking, etc. But it's hard to answer your question.

    I'd rephrase the question: Why have fishing skill at all?

  • Gizel, October 2009

    el wrote:

    DarkMime64 wrote:

    So we level fishing now for... what purpose exactly?

    To be able to equip that Arcanite Fishing Pole, which gives a +40 bonus to skill, which you need to... erm, hold on. There are still fish that cannot be caught from pools - the Dalaran fountain, Old Azeroth fish used to level cooking, etc. But it's hard to answer your question.
    I'd rephrase the question: Why have fishing skill at all?


  • mikado, October 2009

    Was fishing very hard to begin with? Did it need all the past and future nerfs it's received? Don't get me wrong, I am excited about the tournament, but making it so that anyone can participate just by clicking "learn fishing"? I think that's a bit much. I don't see the point of this change.

    Next up: mine titanium with lvl1 mining skill and herb in Storm Peaks with lvl1 herbalism skill. But no, these are primary professions and too many folks would throw a fit if that happened. But fishing is just some trash secondary profession and noone will care, amirite?

  • Averiy, October 2009

    The three fish required for a fish feast can be pool caught, it's true, but the most efficient way to catch them is in Wintergrasp, where they are caught from open water in a near equal ratio, so that you don't have many fish of any one kind left over. This you cannot do without fishing skill.

  • Kamaria, October 2009

    This is all so depressing

  • Al, October 2009


  • Utopia, October 2009

    Sadly it seems we anglers are becoming another victim of the dumbing-down in the name of accessibility which is sweeping through wow......

  • Feiwong, October 2009


    I've opened a suggestion thread complaining about this change... so if anyone wants to support it, please do

    Best regards,

  • el, October 2009

    Here are some more discussions on the official forums:

    Pool fishing involves moving around, looking for specific things in the water. Pools are the closest we currently have to the Cataclysm method of fishing mentioned at BlizzCon (hooking specific fish you can see swimming). Encouraging pool fishing in this patch makes a lot of sense. In fact, it may be an attempt to demonstrate that a more interactive method of fishing can be popular. Although people here tend to mostly fish from pools, over all players open water is much more popular. So trying to make the least popular aspect of fishing more popular might be logical overall, even if we see things differently.

    Of course leveling fishing skill (and specifically leveling alongside cooking) appears (same source) to account for a significant proportion of fishing activity. There's a risk of simply making the whole cycle pointless: Nobody needs to level fishing skill, so nobody fishes. Rationally, you'd counter that by arguing that if people didn't want to fish, they would not have levelled fishing skill. However Joanna Average WoW player transpires to be surprisingly irrational. "That 1/450 bar needs to be filled!" "One day I'll want to farm Mr. Pinchy..." I'm sure we've all been there, even if we find a reason to justify our actions. A superficial (or worse, pure economist) understanding of that irrationality is a dangerous thing.

    Traditionally the role of fishing skill has been to test patience. Patience is the main requirement for fishing. And requiring 10 or 15 hours of fishing before an angler can catch the good stuff, is what separated "us from them". It's also classic EverQuest-style grinding, that used to be common in WoW: Do the same thing over-and-over, before you can do what you actually wanted to do.

    Patch 3.1 started to dilute the test of patience. 3.3 dilutes it so far we're struggling to see a purpose.

    The basic problem for fishing (and all WoW professions) is that there was never a hard part that followed the "pointless grind" of skilling-up. So removing the need for skill means that everyone can do it immediately. Consequently, there's nothing exclusive or special for anglers who are prepared to put a lot of work into the profession.

    Or is there? Ah, but there is! At least for fishing. Take a step back and look at this forum. Or perhaps earlier in the year, when things were busier: The most popular topics are about catching the Sea Turtle, Pinchy, One that Got Away. Listen to the furvor with which people defend (or are annoyed by) the Salty title. All things that are a serious test of patience, and provide the angler with something to care about, something exclusive that is valued among those they play with.

    Now, there are all kind of issues with this form of non-monetary, individualistic consumerism. And I suspect we'll eventually laugh at the paradox of how Blizzard's attempt to counter inequalities that exist outside of the game (by blocking Real Money Trading), has actually created one of the most unequal communities within the game (by trying to prevent the trade of anything perceived to have value). But that's a philosophical discussion for another time. We are where we are. And right now we're in a land where titles, mounts, and other apparently useless things have the greatest sense of value.

    Why not go further? No computer-incremented skills whatsoever. Instead (if fishing still is a test of human patience) add far more apparently useless, but rare, things that take patience to acquire. (Rare doesn't imply strictly random - rare but less variable - for example a Sea Turtle might take 4,000-5,000 casts, not 1-~25,000 casts - excessive variability causes frustration as the mind either can't understand the pattern, or feels the pattern is unfair.) Or perhaps associate fishing with something other than patience.

    There are lots of possibilities following this line of thought: But perhaps the value of fishing shouldn't be thought of in terms of the ability to catch buff food. Increasingly, the real prestige is a Turtle-mounted Salty with a Crawdad in tow. Or similar.

  • Durth, October 2009

    Having paid for 2 epic flyers and a mechano hog just by selling food Im not to excited about this. On the other hand though its not like its really that easy to fish for this stuff without being attacked at lower levels. A level 1fishing glacial salmon pools is going to get hit by a bear or the opposing faction at the lumber mill. Lloot crazed divers are at the sculpin lake in Borean Tundra. Nettlefish ahve all sorts of animals runnnig around their pools. Im just not sure how this will all shake out. I dont like professions being easy. Going through the bs to get them leveled was the only thing keeping the market at a certain level. A lot of people just wouldnt bother but now its always getting easier and easier. Plus it makes me feel old and grumpy :p

  • Durth, October 2009

    Oh I forgot to mention the 5 tab Guild bank and all the gold spent tipping other people for enchants and gemming and such. Some people laugh when you put cooking in trade but I think most os us here know better.

  • Gned, November 2009

    I'm feeling pretty abused over the new fishing changes. Mostly because my invested time and efforts are at least partially meaningless now.

  • Leny, November 2009

    I find this to be a horrible idea..... two things that kind of set me out in my guild was my habit for paying huge amounts for non-combat pets and fishing

  • Shreda, January 2010


    Sorry, I had to do something dramatic

  • Renetta, January 2010

    I don't really have a strong attitude in many ways. Yes Salty is my preferred title because I like fishing and it's the perfect title for a squid (I mean draenei). But I actually disagree that fishing is becoming less patient driven. Getting fishing to 450 takes not a lot of patience. There is constant short-term reward (oh another tick, uh here is something funny I fished up, do old world pool achievement to break the monotony, visit nat pagle etc etc).

    Rather this is being replaced with things that for some, though not all requires a lot of patience. The one that didn't get away took me over 7.5k casts (I think the general believe is that the average is around 1k) if I remember correctly and made me vow to never fish for an extremely low drop achievement again. Well I didn't stick to it. Now I'm at way over 12k on the turtle without luck (here it seems that people converge on a believe that the average is 4-5k) and patient permitting I may fish indefinitely without any reward whatsoever. So yeah rare _is_ random, else I'd have both much earlier.

    I for one have never ever felt my patience tested so much as in the new system, not the old. But yeah, some may have been more lucky and hence don't even know that patience may be required. I certainly don't complain that I got my old ironjaw on my very first cast, that indeed didn't take any patience to do. That said, for many of us getting all fishing achievements is way harder than doing the old fishing skill leveling was. If someone doesn't understand that you simply got lucky.

    I like the BB contest. This is not a test of patience. It's a test of preparation, planning, swift decision making and some luck. But luck is but one factor and one can work to bend the odds one way and many who do the contest will see their fish counts go up with experience. Before I won I had two contests where I was 1 fish short - that's the margin of error the contest had when you are prepared and do all the right things. The new fishing contest is just Vegas though and I am only happy it's in the game because it at least doubles up on the chance to get a turtle as well.

    In fact the relationship is reversed now. If you are unlucky you need extreme patience with limited short-term reward. Yes if you are lucky you need no patience at all. So if the complaint is that fishing moves away from patience to luck I might actually agree. But from how it sounds there will be some skill added to the equation and frankly I'd rather work on things I can control than fish 10k pools for nothing at all (well except the ability to completely destroy the value of fish in the AH for a good while).

    So yes I hate the new system, nothing resembles disillusion more than weeks of solid fishing without any sign of reward or any promise that reward will ever come - but making skill leveling easier now and possibly removing it later doesn't move me at all. In fact I welcome it.

    Ultimately in terms of game design as a whole, the EQ model is dead. WoW has discovered that the time people have is constant, so if you add new stuff you have to obsolete old mechanisms to keep things to do in balance with people's time. Else the game becomes inaccessible for newcomers because they'd have to catch up 5 years worth of gaming to be where the original population got. A phenomenon not unfamiliar in EQ, and while relished by some, really a bad idea to keep a game community together. The WoW model is sustainable, but yes requires that people accept change and that old way to get to X will be replaced by a new way to get to X that may in fact be much faster.

    MMOs are about renewal. Yes we farmed 1 year of Molten Core 3 days a week for T1 sets. They are worthless now. One can focus on that and how unfair it is that people now get T9 for running heroics not requiring the wipes and patience and learning, or one can recognize that it was fun while doing it and look forward and appreciate the new content that comes ones way.

    On Cataclysm fishing I reserve judgment until I have seen it, but looking backwards won't be how I'll be judging it.

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Fishing skill req for great sea?

  • matty555, February 2008

    Hi im level 12 and my fishing skill is 112 and im fishing at longshore at the moment next to the great sea and i was wondering at what skill level can i fidh there?


  • el, February 2008

    The skill required and fish caught from the seas are the same as the zone you are closest to (source). There was a long-standing bug with the ocean west of Silithus. Technically this has no coastal water, so no coastal fish. The ocean there contained freshwater fish.

    Oh, and so to answer the question: the area is like Westfall, so should require 75 skill to stop fish getting away.

  • matty555, February 2008

    Oh so i need 75 skill to fish in the great sea? i now have 126 and i cant.

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  • el, February 2008

    That's interesting. Perhaps your part of the Great Sea is linked to Stranglethorn Vale to the south? Most of that area requires 130 to cast, 225 to stop get-aways. Gain a few points more of skill and let us know!

  • avalon, January 2013

    Sha-Touched areas - above states 'no junk' skill 625. I'm fishing on Kun-Lai Summit in the Sha touched area south of Kota Basecamp with a skill of 798 (600+fishing hate+arcanite pole+head treated fishing lure) and I'm receiving about 50% junk.

  • el, January 2013

    Avalon - Scoured Fishbones and Desecrated Carcass are junk-quality items that may be caught when your skill is high enough to avoid junk. Catching these does not automatically mean your skill is too low. There are 13 specific junk items (listed in #2 of (Not) Catching Junk) that indicate insufficient skill. Unfortunately in a few locations the regular catch table includes junk-quality items. Sadly there's no easy way to tell them apart. I don't know why the skill-related junk doesn't have a tooltip that says "insufficient skill" on it, since this has been confusing people for the last 3-4 years.

  • sizematters, April 2013

    I am a dk tauren on Kor'gall EU. I just got this morning the Nat's Hat, reaching a fishing skill of 790 (600 max skill + 30 Dragon Fishing Pole + 5 fishing enchant on gloves + 5 Nat's Hat +150 Nat's Hat lure).
    I started fishing in Krasarang Wilds, near the Thunder Cleft base. I got more than 50% Golden Carp (fish junk). The same thing happened when I activated for 2 minutes the Sharpened Tuskarr Spear, reaching 805 fishing skill.

    I don't understand what is happening. I farmed reputation for more than 3 weeks with Nat Pagle, thinking that, afterwards, I won't get Golden Carp anymore. Maybe I missinterpret the notion of "Excess Junk fish"? Maybe in all regions, I get junk fish no matter what fishing skill I have, but I won't get junk fish all the time when my fishing skill is enough?

  • sizematters, April 2013

    I gave it a shot near the Fishing Trainer, Ben Of The Booming Voice, at Half Hill Market, in Valley of The Four Winds. (700 fishing skill requiered for no excess junk)

    My fishing skill: 790
    I got: 5 Emperor Salmon, 5 Krasarang Paddlefish, 9 Golden Carp = almost 50% junk fish

  • el, April 2013

    The base percentage of Golden Carp in inland Krasarang Wilds was 60%. There is no fixed "50%" base figure - it varies between zones: For example, 80% in (non-Sha touched, inland) Kun-Lai Summit (see Mists of Pandaria Catches).

  • sizematters, April 2013

    Thank you very much for the answer and for the link: "Carp are also part of the normal catch from open waters of Pandaria. So catching Golden Carp does not automatically mean your skill is too low."

    However, I consider that the truth is rather dissapointing. In the past, there was a toss
    - between fishing in pools and losing time moving between the pools
    - fishing in open water and losing time with the junk

    Now, with the new daily Fish of the Day migrations and the large pools, I think lvling fishing and acquiring all the fishing equipment is a complete waste of time.

    P.S. Maybe I'm thinking this because Kor'gall is a very low populated realm and I always have the large pools only for myself :)

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Skill-up change in 4.3

  • donquixote235, December 2011

    El says: For a current skill-up table, see Fishing Skill. Original topic below:

    I'm currently grinding fishing on an alt, and I noticed a change in the way the game grants skill-ups now.

    Under the old method, fishing would take an average of X casts to get a skill-up, e.g. around 10 casts to get from 345 to 346. It appears that now it grants a skill-up after anywhere from 1 to X casts, e.g. to get from 345 to 346 it could still take 10, but you could get it after 5 casts or even 1 cast. And it looks like it's weighted toward less casts, rather than more.

    To give you an example, here's the past few skill-ups I've gotten:

    340-341: 2 casts
    341-342: 3 casts
    342-343: 2 casts
    343-344: 4 casts
    344-345: 3 casts
    345-346: 7 casts
    346-347: 5 casts
    347-348: 4 casts
    348-349: 2 casts
    349-350: 1 cast

    Happy fishing!

  • el, December 2011

    Thanks donquixote235. I'm currently working through 1-525. The process has become much more variable (after 300, especially after 450). Some random commentary can be found on Twitter.

  • Middledane, December 2011

    It seams like catching trash, trickers a "buf" which halves the number of catches needed for a skill level.
    Not 100% sure though, but it seams like that's happening.....

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  • el, December 2011

    Don't worry - it's getting halved in Stormwind too. Unfortunately as the process becomes more variable, all sorts of patterns emerge to deceive the angler. (And sometime they transpire true, but normally only after assembling mountains of data...)

  • Middledane, December 2011

    He he. Today it shows that my experience from yesterday, is absolutely WRONG. ;-)

  • el, December 2011

    This graph gives a flavour of the variations:

    My initial analysis concluded these average catch numbers per skill point (at each range of fishing skill):

    • 1-100: 1.0
    • 100-200: 1.6
    • 200-300: 1.9
    • 300-450: 3.6
    • 450-525: 5.5

    But as you can hopefully see from the graph, that pattern is likely an over-oversimplification. Unfortunately it will take a lot more data to explore that further. And that's assuming no further variations, like location or gear or pools, or anything else that might have changed (but probably hasn't).

  • el, December 2011

    Second test from pools now complete: 100-525 in the Frozen Sea (I even found the PTR Sea Turtle I failed to catch during testing for patch 3.1). No change in the pattern. Total number of catches required was 4% lower than the Stormwind open water test above, but that can be explained away by the wide variations we're seeing - a little luck with the Random Number Generator can make a big difference.

    Overall, my gut feeling is that there haven't been any other changes, such as variations in skill-up by location of water fished or fish caught.

    Unfortunately the variations mean that we're unlikely to ever get an answer to a few lingering questions, like whether the guild perk "Working Overtime" now influences fishing: A 10% variation is very hard to demonstrate conclusively here.

  • Robbingo, December 2011

    I'm not sure what the skill rate was before hand, but today I was fishing for the Sea Pony so around darkmoon isle, and I went from skill 362 to 497 in 656 casts, so on average 5 casts per level. I seem to remember it being more that that before the patch.

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  • Fiamma, May 2008

    On the info page for Zangarmarsh, it states that the skill required to cast is 305... I cast there with 300 base fishing skill, with 95 fishing worth of lures (so 395 fishing) but it can't be the lures enabling me as with this same skill I cannot fish in Terokkar Forest (Requires 355 to cast) Is the page incorrect or is there something I am not taking into account?

    - Fia

  • el, May 2008

    Parts of Terokkar Forest require 405 to cast. At a guess, you're trying to fish Silmyr Lake.

  • Fiamma, May 2008

    Yep, that's right, I'm a nub. Lol, thanks a bunch El, does this mean that with my skill and lures, I can FINALLY cast in Bay of Storms?

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  • Oberweiss, May 2008

    On the Azshara page, this is what it says of Bay of Storms:

    Skill Required: 330 to cast, 425 to stop fish getting away.

  • zar, December 2012

    I've just (28 Dec 2012) done a round of Serpent Lake on my lvl 85 monk, in order to try and get a few weather-beaten journals.
    Thought I'd post my results...
    Didn't see any wreckage pools, just lots of fish pools (while flying over)

    Had the zone to myself.

    got a total of:
    35 sporefish
    7 motes
    9 scrollcases
    8 darters
    3 spotted feltail
    1 goldenscale vendorfish :-)
    11 curious crates

    forgot to count the pools, sorry....

    so, crates were actually about 15%, not 5% as listed on the zangermarsh page...

    of the 11 crates, 7 contained a journal :)
    (I deliberately didn't learn the journal, so I could see how many I got, since I needed a few for alts also)

    Also levelled my fishing from 137 to 184 in the process.


  • Serac, September 2013

    I caught :
    3 Huge Spotted FelTail
    2 Enormous Barbed Gill Trout
    2 Motes of Water
    1 Curious Crate
    1 Inscribed Scrollcase
    And a ton of Zangarian Sporefish, Barbed Gill Trout, Spotted Feltail
    I caught these in around 20-30 minutes while doing Shrimpin' Ain't Easy, I caught 1 Enormous Barbed Gill Trout and 1 Huge Spotted FelTail while doing the quest so after I finish I thought I should keep fishing because of the luck (It's annoying because I already caught Huge Feltail when I farmin' for it and Enormous Gill Trout randomly while fishing for cooking(I didn't know it was rare when I caught it)) And I wish I got a Goldenscale Vendorscale, I got all the other rare fishes here several times but never this one(Last one I need for Limnologist)

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