Wherever two ecosystems meet, there will be life. So it is where the black waters of the Juanache River meet the muddy waters of the large Ucayali. At that bend, I often see the pink river dolphins breaching for air while fishing, and we often end up with one or two fish in our peque-peque (motorized canoe). This time we ended up with about 15 in our boat, all at once!
A school must have been at the surface of the water when our small peque-peque floated around the bend, and the scared fish jumped to escape. The problem is that this type of fish has a venomous spine on its dorsal fin that is extremely painful if it sticks you (just ask Raquel, our Coordinator in Loreto, who has had some experience with this)!
As the fish flopped around our tiny boat, we (the motorist, one passenger, and myself) all tried to wiggle out of harm’s way without tipping over. I was on duty as the water scooper, in charge of, as you can guess, scooping the water out of the boat that seeps in through the cracks in the wood, and therefore had a tool at hand to flip out the fish. Eventually we were able to throw most of the fish back into the river without getting stuck, and then laugh about one more of the many curiosities of the Amazon.