Fish in Kochi of fresh water:Ayu

by N. Kishita

Many species live in Kochi. In the species, famous creatures living a clear river in Kochi are exist. One of them is ayu.


Ayu is about 25 cm long and are a fresh water fish living a clear stream in Japan. They live in Shimanto River, Niyodo River, Yasuda River, Monobe River, Shinzyou River, and so on. Ayu comes down the river immediately after they hatch from the spawns, it enters the sea, spends winter, goes back the river again next spring, it parents, and spawn is laid in autumn. The one to go up from spring to summer is called “Noboriayu” and the one that descends the river to lay spawns in autumn is “Otiayu”.

Use & Conservation

The ayu in Kochi is known as a special product of Kochi, and to fish, is visited from summer to autumn by many clients. When making in edible ayu, the ayu might be called “Sweet fish” to have a peculiar smell. Adult fish’s ayu comes to eat the moss that is attached to the stone in the riverbed. So, the ayu that grow up eating the pure moss in a clean river isn’t a bad taste, and we can enjoy a smell the ayu original. Ayu’s cooking method is ayu grilled with salt, candied ayu, ayu sushi, and so on.

“Hifuriryou” done in summer is a traditional fishing method that has been taken over the Niyodo River and Shimanto River now. Hifuriryou can catch ayu by driving in them by the flame of the flambeau that shakes to a dark surface of a river. A fantastic flame that floats on the night of summer is Shimanto River’s poetic events of summer.

However, ayu’s poor catch becomes a serious problem in Shimanto River and Niyodo River, and so on in recent years. The decrease of haul is caused by a decrease of stream flow, the deterioration of the water quality, the change in the river, a decrease in the nursery area place, and the factor such as decreases in fry’s run-up in either river. In an effort to increase their number various activities are done, such as releasing ayu, independent changes of the fishing season of each fishery cooperative, and holding the symposium is done.


Kochi’s ayu is one kind of typical fishes in Kochi, other prefectures’ people also love. It is necessary to do inhabitants of the prefectures best to protect the ayu now since the number of ayu decreases.

Video of “Hifuriryou”



  1. I don’t know ayu live in Kochi. Habitat of ayu is destroied by human is very sad. I can’t do anything for ayu but I hope ayu’habitat will be protected forever.


  2. The sweetfish in Kochi Prefecture knew it to be a special product famous. Because the water of the river in Kochi Prefecture is very clean. The impression exists in me. However, I was very surprised to know that it was dirty, and the number of sweetfishes decreased also in the river in beautiful Kochi.
    However, it is possible to think about the cause of becoming in the environment where the sweetfish doesn’t live easily if it thinks. Because man throws away all the one in the river and the sink and garbage are thrown away. Moreover, the river is maintained in preparation for the disaster. I think the environment where it doesn’t live gradually easily for the sweetfish to be formed while a livable environment we for men becomes complete. Other living things are not thought from us selfishly at all. It is necessary to renew the idea as a companion who lives in the same earth.


  3. I was surprised to know that the Ayu was a special product of Kochi for the first time, and I regretted that I did’t eat the ayu in spite of I was in Kochi for last year.
    I want to see the Hifuriryo. It is very fantastic.I want also to think about the maintenance activity of the river to leave such traditional fishing in the future.


  4. I noticed that keep water clean like Shimanto river is important to preserve ayu.
    So I felt it to revise westewater treatment such living and plant drainage.


  5. We must clean the river every day. We mast pass “Hifumiryou”. Ayu is very delicious. I think that Kochi River is very clean. So we don’t make Kochi River dirty. We mast protect “Hifumiryou”. I think that “Hifumiryou” is Japanese tradition.


  6. I had eaten Ayu. It was very very delicious. It was heard ”Hihuriryo” for the first time. Because I read this article, I am hungry now. I’m interested in Ayusushi .I can’t imagine it. How to cook…? By pickle in vinegar or raw?


  7. Last summer,I watched a lot of people in kagamiriver.
    They tried to catch Ayu.
    I want to Ayu fishing.


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