Kuenzang Choden / Thimphu
The second phase of fish stocking and monitoring program in Gomthang stream in Bumthang, undertaken by the Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP), in collaboration with the National Cold Water Fishery Centre (NCWFC) in Haa has concluded.
In a news release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), 500 brown trout yearlings have been stocked and are in good condition with a 100% survival rate. The report recommended the need to intensify stocking, regular monitoring of stocked fish, and sensitization of local people on the intention of the Gomthang trout fishery project.
The Chief Forest Officer of the WCP, D.S Rai, said that the park officials will keep monitoring the trout, and a similar study will be conducted next year. “Once the fish are able to reproduce, then the situation will be better. The present health condition indicates that the environment is healthy enough to raise a fishery,” he said.
The stocked fish were found to be in healthy condition with good body weight and size increases. The findings indicate that Gomthang stream makes a good habitat for trout fishery.
Better ways of transporting the fish, such as a closed system method was used to transport live fish. The first phase started with the objective to stock live brown trout fingerlings into the stream. Of the 1,150 fingerlings transported, 920 were successfully released into the stream with a survival rate of 80%.
The project is a part of a long-term vision to convert Gomthang into a tourist destination. The place has the potential for Tshamba- Gomthang trek, and with the fishery projects, tourism activities like fly fishing and capture-release can be offered as well, said D.S Rai.
The news release from MoAF states, the program will run for three years, and further stocking and periodic monitoring will be carried out. This is in line with the project, “Interim Co-Management of Wangchuck Centennial Park and World Wildlife Fund-Bhutan Program.”