Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government through its conservation plan launched to save endangered Golden Mahseer from the brink of extinction has succeeded in improving the status of this specie in the rivers and reservoirs of the state, a senior official said today.
Golden Mahseer also known as the “‘tigers of the water” has suffered stern population declines in much of its distribution range and had been acknowledged as a endangered specie by the Washington-based International Union of Conservation of Natural Resources due to pollution, habitat loss and over-fishing.
But now due to the continuous efforts of the State Government Golden Mahaseer is once again thriving at Mahseer farm at Machhial in Mandi District through artificial breeding in captivity, the state fisheries department official claimed.
Mahseer is present in around 500 km area of the hill state out of total 3000 km rivers area. Out of which 2400 km constitute general water. The state fisheries department had produced around 92500 eggs of Golden Mahseer during past three years. The state has recorded highest 45.311 MT Mahseer catches during these years.
Mahseer production from Gobind Sagar was 16.182 MT, Koldam 0.275 MT, Pong Dam 28.136 MT and Ranjeet Sagar 0.718 MT in the year 2019-20 and in the year 2021-22 the production was 6.598 MT in Gobind Sagar, 0.381 MT in Koldam, 11.250 MT Pong Dam and 0.340 MT Ranjeet Sagar.
The Fisheries Department is emphasizing its main focus on artificial breeding of fish and by conserving and ranching of the river system with Mahseer seed would also promote eco-tourism in the state.
The state recorded 20900, 28700 and 41450 Golden Mahseer fish eggs production in the year 2017-18 year 2018-19 and year 2019-20 (till today) respectively.
There are many natural Mahseer sanctuaries called Machhial where Golden Mahseer is being conserved spiritually by the people and department of fisheries also doing commendable work in this direction by strictly implementing fisheries Act and Rules.
It has also created opportunities of employment and strengthened the economy of fishermen of the state. So far now 10893 families have been involved in captive fisheries in the state out of which 5883 families are involved in riverine around 5010 families are involved in fish catches in reservoirs area.
Director Fisheries Satpal Mehta said Mahseer is one of the best sports fish which attracts the anglers from different parts of the world. It belongs to Tor family and especially two species Tor pitutora and To tor has been reported in the state.
It is migratory in nature and travels long distance during monsoon upstream in search of ecologically suited place for breeding containing high dissolved oxygen in the water. Despite being declared as endangered species, it is found abundantly in the state which contributes about 10-15 percent of total catch in the state reservoirs especially in Pong reservoir.
He said that state’s water bodies are home to 85 fish species, including Rohu, Catla and Mrigal and Trout, both brown and rainbow. Total 492 MT fish has been marketed outside state during last financial year. As many as six mobile vans are being used in mobile fish markets to market fishes and insulated boxes have also been provided to reservoir fishermen.
The state government is also setting up new Mahseer hatchery-cum-carp breeding unit at Sunni in district Shimla with an estimated cost of Rs 297 lakh to develop methods of breeding under safe conditions in hatcheries. It will go a long way in strengthening the fish farm infrastructure in the state. An estimated 12,000 record highest hatching are expected during this year out of 41450 eggs produced this year so far.