The first fish restocking program was held in Gomthang under Bumthang dzongkhag last year following a royal command and about 1,500 brown trout yearlings were restocked. In the second phase of fish restocking program in Thimphu Chhu more than 3000 healthy brown trout yearlings were restocked this year.
“The stocking program was aimed at replenishing the depleting brown trout stock and to develop good brown trout stock for future recreational and fishery development,” NCR&LF official Sangay Norbu said.
The population of brown trout is believed to have declined in many northern natural water bodies (streams and lakes) due to increasing developmental activities such as dam construction, sand and stone quarries, construction of flood protection facilities and roads. The restocking in Thimphu Chhu was initiated after worries of the river becoming polluted.
The NCR&LF is currently involved in improvising and developing community based fishery resource management plans for farmers in potential areas such as Berthi in Zhemgang and Harachu in Wangdue.
NCR&LF is also involved in developing management plans including mitigations measures for aquatic resources in hydropower affected water bodies in collaboration with the National Environment Commission, Department of Forest and Park Services and hydropower projects.
The NCR&LF has bred three fish species of which the breeding technique of brown trout and rainbow trout has been standardized and the snow trout is still under research.
“Brown trout and snow trout would be used for stocking natural water bodies,” said Sangay Norbu.
The brown trout is stocked in areas or stream/river stretches where there is depletion in stock and also at stretches with potential to develop a fishery.
The center will also study the effect of brown trout on other native fish species.