The nzeere fish is a small (5-7.5 cm long) fresh water fish without scales and a white or brownish color, sometimes appearing silver on the sides. It has three distinct spikes on its fins, on the back and two on the sides near the head. These are used as defensive weapons and can cause great pain to fishermen who are pricked during their work. This fish is traditionally caught by the use of hooks fitted with small worms as baits, as well as in fishnets in the modern fishing methods.
Nzeere is a fish that has been caught at the mouth of River Kagera mainly for personal or family consumption for many years. It is a highly seasonal fish that only appears during moderate rains, and it is only prepared by means of boiling and smoking because of the high fat content in its flesh. It is only caught, handled and prepared by experienced people at all levels due to the sharp, some say poisonous, spikes it has. Today, it is at risk of disappearing do to the encroachment of people in the wetlands where the fish live during their reproductive season, as well as the use of nzeere fish as bait for larger fish like Nile perch.