It’s time for trout fishing in Himachal streamsMay 29th, 2011 - 11:59 am ICT by IANS
Shimla, May 29 (IANS) It’s time to pit your wits against the game fish trout in the cool, crystal-clear happy waters of Himachal Pradesh.
Most of the rivers and their tributaries in Kullu, Shimla, Mandi and Kinnaur districts are abundant with the brown trout, an exotic fish species introduced by the British in the state in 1909 to promote angling.
The state government is promoting angling by permitting the anglers to fish in the gurgling Himalayan streams.
“We are promoting angling sport. You can catch a catfish or rohu or catla or mrigal and pit your wits against golden mahseer and trout too,” Director Fishery B.D. Sharma told IANS.
However, prior permission of the fisheries department is a must.
Sharma said only trout fishing is allowed this season. Angling for all other fish species is banned every year from June 1 to July 31 since it is the breeding season and the fish need to propagate.
For trout, the breeding season is from Nov 1 to Feb 28.
There is a licence fee of Rs.100 for a day, which allows the angler to catch six trouts a day.
The trout should not be less than 40 c.m. in size and should be caught with a hook and line by using only artificial bait.
The history of trout in Himachal Pradesh dates back to the colonial rule. The British introduced trout in 1909 to promote game fishing.
The trout - mainly the brown ones - is currently found in a 600-km stretch on the Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers in the upper Himalayas where no other fish species survive because of the extreme cold climate.
The Pabbar stream in upper Shimla, the Baspa in Kinnaur district, the Uhl in Mandi district as well as the Beas river and its tributaries in Kullu district support good populations of trout.
According to the fisheries department, the entire Kullu Valley offers one of the best spots for trout fishing in the Beas and its tributaries - Sarveri, Parbati, Sajoin and Phojal.
The Sainj and Tirthan rivers, which form a tri-junction with the Beas a few hundred metres downstream from Largi in Kullu, are famous for trout angling.
Patlikuhl, Katrain and Raison, located mid-way between Kullu and Manali towns, also have excellent pools for fishing.
The course of the Parbati river from Manikaran, known for a popular Sikh shrine some 65 km from Kullu town, to its five km downstream is ideal for fishing.
“Angling in rapid waters is different from the calm waters of the reservoirs and lakes. We prefer angling in the streams, especially before monsoon when the water is crystal clear,” said Ramandeep Bajwa, an avid angler from Chandigarh.
“Of course, visiting the Kullu Valley in May or June is the way to beat the heat. It is an altogether family event,” he added.
Kullu town is also on the air map with daily flights from Delhi.
Paramvir Singh Bains, another angler from Chandigarh, said Barot, some 200 km from Shimla, and the Sangla Valley in Kinnaur district, some 275 km from Shimla, are also the finest trout fishing spots.
“The advantage of Barot and Sangla, besides good catch, is government rest houses and good private accommodation,” Bains added.
Sharma said for accommodation in government guest houses, one needs to make the booking well in time with the respective departments.
Most of the rest houses of forest and public works department are in Sirmaur, Shimla, Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Kullu, Chamba and Kinnaur districts.
Himachal Pradesh is aptly called a storehouse of aquatic biodiversity.
According to studies conducted by Panjab University in Chandigarh, the state’s water bodies are home to 85 fish species.
The trout are not a rare species, but experts say their numbers have declined over the years due to the construction of hydro-electric projects.
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Tags: artificial bait, beas river, brown trout, catla, cold climate, colonial rule, exotic fish, fish species, fish trout, fisheries department, game fish, game fishing, hook and line, kinnaur, kullu valley, licence fee, mahseer, rohu, sutlej, trout fishing