Twenty individuals of the largest European freshwater predator, the European catfish Silurus glanis, were tagged with electromyogram (EMG) physiological telemetry sensors. The fish were observed during diel cycles during the spring and summer in the Elbe and Berounka Rivers, Czech Republic. The purpose of this study was to determine whether diel dualism in the activity of S. glanis occurs naturally or is induced by the laboratory environment and by the conditions occurring in aquaculture. The results obtained from the riverine environment tended to show dualism in the use of the light and dark phases of the day because 35% of the individuals varied from a site-specific common diel activity pattern. The EMG values increased in accordance with the mass (M) of the fish. To eliminate the influence of M on individual energy consumption, the EMG records were analysed in terms of the EMG:M ratios. High individual variability was found in these ratios. The diel activity pattern of the individuals with relatively high energy consumption differed from the common diel activity pattern. In contrast, the fish that adopted the common diel activity pattern displayed relatively low energy consumption. The results of this study indicated that dualism and energy consumption are related. The EMG values also varied with the values of the environmental variables. Increasing temperature was associated with high EMG values, whereas the EMG values decreased with increasing flow.