Arunachal''s once-restricted Bichom river open for all anglers

Utpal Boruah

Itanagar, Feb 8 (PTI): Till recently a no-go area foranglers wanting to fish in the Bichom river in West Kamengdistrict of Arunachal Pradesh, the river''s recent opening upto ''outsiders'' has triggered appreciation as well as concern.

As per a common practice among all tribal communities ofthe state, angling is not permissible to those living outsidethe district as local people consider rivers as communityassets.

Breaking away from the practice, the river, rich infishes ideal for angling, was formally thrown open to allanglers last November at a ceremony held at Subu villagenestled beneath the picturesque Thrizino circle.

As a bonus, a weekly market on the banks of the river wasalso inaugurated at the village by the MLA of theThrizino-Buragaon circle, Kumsi Sidisow.

Angelers had for long wanted to catch the elusive GoldenMasheer fish found only in the Bichom river - a trophy for theanglers.

Local people say the river has plenty of Golden Masheerwhich, they claim, is the toughest among fresh water sportfish.

However, conservationists are sceptical about therightness of the opening up of the river as they fear thatthat might encourage poaching of the fish.

The Wild Life Protection Society, based in West Kamengdistrict, credited with the idea of opening the river forangling, said that the spectacular fish species would onlysurvive if angling holidays were set aside to make peopleunderstand the importance of conservation of the fish. MOREPTI UPL MD NN

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