Fish and Fisheries of Nepal
The chemistry of the water is a function of the land it flows through. Probably the most important single factor governing the life types found in the body of water is water chemistry. When this characteristic is combined with the volume of water, most of the significant factors controlling fish life can be explained. There are other factors, such as an amount of sunlight, depth of water, turbidity and volume which are also important. Water chemistry plays a vital role in the development of fisheries in fast flowing mountain streams. It determines an existence of microflora and fauna in different stretches of the water body.
image source: Fishinghimalayas.com
When rain water falls on the earth surface, a portion of it evaporates back into the atmosphere while the other portion seeps into the soil or flows on the surface as surface run off. The rain water finally seeps into the deep soil also appear on the surface in the form of a spring or stream.
Nepalese food and game fish
Some important Nepalese food and game fish are snow trout (Schizothorax), mahseer (Torputitora), pointed snout snow trout (Schizothoraichthys), catla (Catla catla), rohu (Labeo spp), warm water catfish (Wallago attu), giant catfish (Bagarius bagarius), tenger catfish (Mystus seenghala), catfish (Euthropiichthes vacha ), cold water catfish (Glyptothorax, Pseudecheneis), featherback (Notopterus), clarid catfish (Clarias batrachus), mud murrel (Channa maurilus), gar fish (Xenentodon candid), spiny eel (Macrognathus aculeatum), mud eel (Amphipnous cuchia) and fresh water eel (Anguilla bengalensis).
Nepalese snow trout
Nepalese snow trout are clear water fish. They abound in snow-fed hill streams. Snow trout provides the great attraction to anglers because of the thrill they experience in angling them in ice-cold waters. All kinds of snow trouts are called Asia in Nepali. These fish are excellent table fish. Nepalese snow trout differ in many respects from the true European trout. A fully mature snow trout is 40 to 60cm in length and weights from 4-6kg.
Because they live and get nurtured in ice-cold and/or fast running Himalayan cold waters, game fish in Nepal have unique stamina and fighting characteristics and therefore, provide a challenging job for energetic anglers. Fishing implements or gear that are in vogue in Nepal are cast net (Jal), bamboo fish trap (Dhadia), lure (Passo), scoop net (Ghorleng), lift net (Thakauli) etc. Besides these, gradient fish traps (Khungo), hut baskets (Dhimeri), drift nets are being used for trapping migratory fish. Some harmful practices are also unfortunately used for fish catching. Fish poison herbs are also being used for paralysing and blinding the fish. In shallow rivers, fishermen also spear and injure fish with knife (Khukuri) for fishing purposes. For such fishing, fisher folks use torches to lure and concentrate fish. The sound produced by striking hammer on stone also kills some fish sheltering underneath stone with relative ease.
No license is required for angling with rods except in the case of fishing in some of the rivers and streams in the interior of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves. However, a tourist is advised to contact the local administration to fish in particular waters. For fishing in Phewa, Begnas and Rupa lakes and in Trisuli livers some nominal charges are to be paid. :
Author: Tej Kumar Shrestha