Origin of the name 'Kelah'

Kelah is a fish from the genus Tor. The general name of 'mahseer' (Indian for 'big head') is popularly used. In the nothern parts of India, mahseer is also called 'kurriah' or 'kukhiah' ,whilst our kejor (tengas) is called 'kajra'.

There is high possibility that the name of kelah is derived from these terms. After all, the Hindu civilization was the earliest to entrench itself in the Malaysia Peninsular.

U have any comments or question? Please email to kelah2u @ gmail.com

Keep in touch. Tq

Visit NEW Buy Sell Blog: MAHSEER AQUA

Update: 11/3/2011


Working Visit

Working Visit on Kelah in Kuala Krai and Sungai Nenggiri

Hanan Mohd. Yusof
Fisheries Research Officer
Freshwater Fisheries Research Centre,
Batu Berendam, Melaka
Objective of the visit:

To conduct preliminary surveillance and collection of samples for the study on the systematic and phylogenetic relationship of Ikan Kelah from various sources using molecular markers.

Visits by :

Mr. Hj. Rosly Hassan (Head of centre), Mr. Ahmad Ashhar Othman (Senior Research Officer), Mr. Hanan Mohd Yusof (Research Officer) of FFRC and Mr. Hj. Zakaria (Fisheries Officer) of Aquaculture Department, Department of Fisheries Head Quarters.

17th January 2005 (Monday)
Kuala Krai, Kelantan

The visit started with RISDA's Fish and Orchid Production Centre at Kampung Bukit Sireh and the group was entertained by Mr. Che Abdullah Jusoh, the Branch Manager. Currently, they are capable of producing 200,000 of Red Tilapia fries every month. However, owing to the great demand from local farmers, RISDA is seeking help from the department in terms of advice to increase their production to cater for the current and future needs of the customers.

Mr. Hj. Rosly and Mr. Hj. Zakaria being briefed by Mr. Che Abdullah on the Tilapia hatchery.
Next, we visited Mr. Mokhtar s Kelah farm at Lata Rek, Kuala Krai. Starting as a hobby, Mr. Mokhtar foresaw the future prospect in culturing Ikan Kelah, he collected juveniles from a nearby river adjacent to Kampung Lata Rek. At present he has stocked in approximately few hundred fish of various sizes in his grow out ponds. The specimens of the Ikan Kelah collected have not been identified, but it is probably Tor tambra. Morphologically, the fish has a short median lobe on the lower lip. For further identification and study purposes, a few samples of scales from the fish (approximately 1 kg in body weight) were taken.

Short median lobe of Mr. Mokhtar s Kelah most likely identifies it as Tor tambra

The Kelah s pond is supplied with sufficient fresh and clean water from a nearby stream.

Samples of Kelah scale were obtained for DNA study
During the later part of the day, we visited Mr. Hj. Awang s farm, located further inside of Kampung Lata Rek. Mr. Hj. Awang has been collecting and culturing Ikan Kelah for a long time. Currently, he estimated his fish collection to be in the region of a thousand specimens. He is still actively collecting Kelah fry form a nearby river to supply the demand from his customers both local and even outside Kelantan.

An interesting piece of information gained from Mr. Hj. Awang is that fry feeding on termites showed a faster growth. The fish seem to relish eating termites. A few samples of Kelah scales were taken from his tank for further study.

Kelah fry feeding on termites

18th January 2005 (Tuesday)
Sungai Nenggiri, Gua Musang, Kelantan.

The trill of a long three hours upstream journey by boat from Kampung Star to Kuala Jenera was meant to visit the site area of the Kelah Sanctuary of Sungai Nenggiri which was managed by Titiwangsa Heritage, a non-governmental organization body. However, disappointment awaited as we were not able to see any Kelah freely swiming in the water as the river was too cloudy due to a very recent flood. The Sanctuary area was gazetted by the State Government in November, 2003 to preserve the fish natural resources from extinction especially the Kelah. The local villagers informed us that, previously, some locals and outsiders had been using explosives and poison to get the Kelah from the river. However, since the area has been gazetted, this problem has greatly decreased.

The three-hour journey upstream to Kuala Jenera of Nenggiri River


The FFRC would like to express its appreciation to the Director of Research for the permission of Kelah study. Special thanks also goes to the State Fisheries Department especially Mr. Adibi, RISDA, Mr. Che Abdullah Jusoh and Mr. Hj. Awang for a pleasant and fruitful visit.

Source: http://www.fri.gov.my