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HOME arrow FISH arrow FRESHWATER arrow Local / Indigenous Species arrow Tilapia Canary / Kurper Kanarie (Chetia Flaviventris)


Tilapia Canary / Kurper Kanarie (Chetia Flaviventris) PDF Print E-mail


  • Kingdom : Animalia
  • Phylum : Chordata
  • Class : Actinopgerygii
  • Order : Cypriniformes
  • Family : Cyprinidae
  • Genus : Chetia
  • Binomial name : Chetia Flaviventris
  • Common name : Canary Kurper / Kanarie Kurper
  • Alternate Name : Kerriebek.
  • Records:


  • World Record    :
  • Angler               : 
  • SA Record         :
  • Angler               :
  • Favisa Record   : It's a pity we never weighed Rhinus's fish as we only went there for the pictures.
  • Angler               : So we think it's just fair to give him the unofficial Favisa record until someone actually gives us a weight. 
  • Favisa Ladies Record   :
  • Angler               :
  • Favisa Junior Record  :  Rietvlei Dam 2008 - This is the fish you see here.
  • Angler               : Rhinus Lemmen

Canary Tilapia

  / Kanarie Kurper.


ImageUntil recently I did not have a decent picture of a Kerriebek but thanks to a few young lads at Rietvlei dam we managed to click on a few good ones. Also thanks to Josè who allowed us to take over his fishing spot for an hour or two in order to catch a Canary on fly. We were into a few of them in a matter of minutes but they weren't the size we were looking for. I then turned to the young gentlemen around there and asked them to catch me a few as they've been hooking them the whole weekend. Immediately the fish started getting bigger as the lads brought me fish after fish. Still relatively small, I took a picture of one or two but we still needed bigger. After myself caught about 30, I was wondering if we were going to see an adult Canary Tilapia because it was getting late and all we saw were fingerlings.

Then comes 11 year old Rhinus Lemmen to our rescue with a beautiful adult Kerriebek, which we will now post as our official Kerriebek fish photo. Well done young man. This was what we came for. He then managed to catch another adult of about the same size and colour. If he tells us his secret bait, we will tell you, but for now, we keep it his secret.

More about the Canary Kurper:

Rhinus Lemmen
Apart from being relatively easy to catch it does not rank high on the priority list. This might also be due to the fact that many fishermen consider this specie to be a nuisance and don't even bother to take a picture of them. We always take a picture of our first fish right?
Apart from being very beautiful fish, especially around spawning season, they don't grow very big. Hence the main reason being called a nuisance.
But that doesn't necessarily mean they're a nuisance if you think about the countless hours of fun they provide to our aspiring young fishermen.
While most of us would rather be concentrating on the larger species, nothing shouts out "FAMILY FISHING TRIP" better than our offspring charging at us with a little fish at the end of his/her stick or rod, that THEY have caught themselves. While most of us would need to take a second glance to actually locate the fish through all the babbling and shining appreciation or to its minute size, we surely can not help to smile and at that time be thankful that this nuisance came to the party.
Can you still remember your first fish? Come to think of it, it might have been a Canary.



  • The Canary Tilapia is a very aggressive fish. Therefore you can use just about anything to catch them with.
  • Worms would be my first choice, but regularly caught them on bread and other baits.
  • Small shiny spinners can be effective.
  • My favourite pass time (when a trip goes sour due to all the invisible fish in the net) is to catch these fish with a fly rod.
    I take a San Juan worm or Black Zulu (again you can use a wide range here) and tie a second fly about 30-45cm behind the first one. This fly will always be a DDD. To me, and I'm no expert, it looks like the first fly is being chased by the DDD and another reason why this fly should be a dry fly. Canaries just can't resist this and more than once have even grabbed the fly as it leaves the water.
  • Even though they're greenish in colour and are extremely well camouflaged against the natural backdrop, their aggressive nature can easily give away their position. They tend to fight a lot with each other resulting in fins sticking out at times or splashing or when you look closely the ripples their dorsal fins make as they glide around, just underneath the water surface.
  • As you can see the young man here, sporting a smaller rod and reel as this makes for much more maneuverability when fishing. The longer your rod, the more difficult it will get.
  • The Kerriebek has one of the biggest mouths I've seen on Tilapia species so you don't have to use tiny hooks for this one, although it might be advised to keep it small. If you don't have small hooks, you can then try the bigger sizes and still be successful.
  • When it comes to line it makes absolutely no difference what you use. While you might be more successful with thin line, you will most definitely catch them on thicker line. And this is probably the beauty of catching this fish. When the youngsters raid dad's fish box and take what they believe will get them their prize, 9 times out of 10 it will be the line they think wouldn't break off. And truth be- it won't, since you can hang an ox from a tree with that breaking strain. Yet the Kerriebek don't seem to mind. Their competitiveness and aggressive behavior proves to be their downfall every time. It seems as long as there's the possibility of food at the end of it all, he'll probably take a swing at it.
  • Here's another fish that holds the presentation of bait AS important as Julius Malema is to a Ventersdorp resident.
    It doesn't matter how big the bait is or what it looks like, if it's food or even looks like food, it's going for it! Although should you use worms I would suggest you secure it a little bit more than normal as they will nip it off in seconds. Even then I've seen them nipping at a shiny silver hook long after the worm disappeared. Kind of makes it the perfect fish for the youngsters as the success rate turned into possitive happy faces must definitely be high up in the eighties.

Thanks Rhinus for another beautiful Kerriebek. It's OK to smile Mr. Lemmen!
It is good to see the youngsters catching fish. Especially since size and type is totally irrelevant, until they tell their story. And if every story were  true, we would have had our hands full with freshwater sharks from sizes that couldn't fit in the car, to man eating carp. But that is all part of making each fishing trip a memorable one.

On the note of keeping it memorable, we need to ensure the future of our true or fibbed memories. Better to educate them on fishing's conservation side at that early age. Just because you catch them by the heaps, shouldn't change your respect for them in any way. Never put Canary Tilapia in a container filled with water as the water temperature will soon change, resulting in their death.

In most cases the water becomes too warm and the oxygen quickly disappears. So the best advice is to put them back in the water right after you've caught them. We know they're beautiful and you might think there's a lot, but for how long, we don't know.

Another thing you rather shouldn't do is to put them in a kip net. Remember this is a small fish and can get stuck in the holes of the net, and they regularly do. This also damages the fins, especially the tail fin and this makes them more susceptible to diseases and parasites.

So be part of the solution, give 'em a kiss and release them.
If you start caring now, you'll make sure you catch big ones when you're older and who knows you might even take your kids to catch them one day.

Lastly, since we now have an open record for this fish, let's see how long Rhinus Lemmen's record will stand. To qualify you need to weigh this fish on a calibrated scale with proof by photograph or have a Favisa official as a witness. We do of course reserve the right to not accept an entry if we believe there was any tampering or discrepancies. But that won't happen I'm sure. Apart from the odd stretching, we're a truthful bunch right!

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