is a source of recreation to innumerable naturists belonging to
different strata of the society. In Western Countries, fishing as
a sport is being increasingly recognized by the medical
authorities and more and more people are coming out of indoors to
try their skill for this outdoor hobby. Angling became favorite
pursuit of the British’s during ninetieth century and it was
mainly for this reason that exotic species viz. brown and rainbow
trouts were transplanted in Indian rivers and streams. The
introduced species of trout not only soon established in Indian
waters but also bred and propagated fastly in view of rich
oxygenated waters and ideal ecological condition of these rivers.
Along with endemic mahseer (Tor putitora) the exotic trout (Salmo
trutta fario and Salmo gairdnerii) started offering excellent
fishing to the European anglers. The literature is replete with
records that Himachal Pradesh rivers and streams provided
exciting fishing to large number of sport lovers/ anglers and
fishermen. Thomas (1897) brought a book ‘ Rod in India’ which
incorporated his experiences of mahseer fishing in Northern
rivers. Later with more and more people getting interested in
mahseer sport in view of unparalleled thrill it provides, two
important publications were brought out viz. ‘Angler in
India’ and ‘Circumventing the mahseer’. These two books
embodied lot of information mostly on fishing sites and
appropriate tackles to be used. Later Hora (1957) published
series of articles containing account of natural history and
systematic of principal game fishes in India.
the Seer Khad (1938,
Seer Khad, Bilaspur)
of Bilaspur Right to Left:
Mian Man Singh (in necktie), the Lt. Governor, Punjab, Sir
Malcolm Hailey, and Lady Governor
568 (Author Mr. Shakti Singh Chandel)
IN HIMACHAL WATERS:
streams of Himachal Pradesh fall under two categories; General
waters and Trout waters, with estimated length of 600 and 2400
kms respectively. The major State’s streams include- Beas,
Sutlej, Ravi,Tirthan, Sainj, Uhl, Baspa, Pabar, Lambadug, Giri,
Rana, Nugal Gai, Baner, Bata, etc. The major fishes available in
these streams are Trout, Mahseer, Nemacheilus spp, Barilus sp,
Schizothoracids Crossocheilus sp. Glyptothorax spp. etc. Fishing
in these streams is regularsied under the state fisheries Act. In
trout water licences only for rod and line are permitted while in
general water both rod and line as well as cast netting is all
allowed. The department has identified the following stretches as
potential fishing sports for trout and mahseer.
length in (kms.)
to Main bridge
length in (kms.)
mulag- Confluence of Binwa to Beas.
Confluence of Kunha tributary of Beas.
Adventure Angling in
Himachal Pradesh the abode of
gods the land of snows a tourist’s dream and delight, is also an
angler’s paradise. It has some of the finest trout streams in the
north. The Pabbar in the Rohru valley, the Baspa in the Sangla
valley, the Uhl in the Barot valley, and river Beas and its
tributaries in the Kullu valley, abound in both brown and rainbow
trout, while many rivers and streams in the Kangra valley are
well-known for mahseer fishing. Each of these rivers has 32 to 40
km of angling reserve area, where one can fish with joy.
Angling rules are liberal and
the fee nominal. Angler is permitted to catch six trout a day on
each license; however a trout should not be less than 40 cm in
size. Trout fishing season lasts from1st November to 28th
February each year.
us first discuss the places and the rivers and the streams, where
one can find trout, easily.
mm, 120 km from Shimla, on the right bank of river Pabbar, is an
important fishing centre. 50 km up-stream from Rohru, and
situated on the left bank of Andhra, a tributary of Pabbar,
is another fishing
centre, besides being an ideal place for relaxation. The other
places which are easily approachable from Rohru, and are known
for providing good fishing opportunities are Seema (5km), Mandil
(10km), Saandhsu (17 km), Tikri (21km) , and Dhamwari (24 km).
river Baspa which takes its origin from the glaciers of the great
Himalayan ranges, and remains practically clear except during the
monsoon, flows through the Baspa or the Sangla Valley, which is
one of the most beautiful valleys in the western Himalayas. Baspa
makes a series of rapids, and has many nice pools for trout.
Surrounded by high mountains and providing a splendid view of the
majestic Kinnar Kailash, Sangla, a populous village (2,621) m
with well furnished PWD and Forest Houses, could be a convenient
place for fishing in this valley. Kupa and Badseri, which are
just a few km from Sangla are also good spots for trout fishing.
A temple and a Buddhist gompa and the ancient Kamru fort are some
other attractions which the anglers should not miss. Sangla is
250 km from Shimla and is well connected with regular bus
(Mandi) 200 km from
Shimla and 75 km from the Mandi town is known not only for its
picturesque water reservoir and scenic beauty, but for trout
fishing also which abounds in the Uhl river, a tributary of river
Beas. Some of the finest fishing spots are located at Luhandi,
Puran hatchery, Lachkkandi, Tikkar, Balh and Kamand. Besides
Barot the entire reservoir from Pandoh Dam to Aut on the
Mandi-Manali national highway is also considered good for trout
A part from being
one of the most beautiful valleys in the Himalayas, the Kulluvalley offers some ideal opportunities for trout fishing
in the river Beas, which meanders through it, and in its larger
tributaries, like Sarveri, Parbati, Sajoin and Phojal. The Sainj
and Tirthan rivers, which form a tri-junction with the Beas a few
hundred meters downstream from the conspicuously located PWD
bungalow at Largi, are also trout streams. The main Kullu valley
right from Manali to Bhuntar provides some excellent pools for
fishing especially at Patlikuhl, Katrain and Raison. Trout
hatcheries have also been developed at Patlikuhl and Bathad. The
Parbati valley, with its scenery generally on a wilder and more
impressive scale, with dense forest to the hillsides, affords
some excellent trout prospects throughout the course of the river
Parbati from Manikarn to the confluence at Bhuin, Kasol, 5 km
before Manikaran, charmingly situated on an open space which
slopes down to a broad expanse of clean white sand at the end of
the main river, makes a first rate halting place with every
prospect of some really good spot. Chandigarh and Delhi and with
many other places in the outside the state, Kullu is also on the
air map of the country with regular flights from Delhi and
After having savoured the
delicacies of the trout, let us now come down to the
comparatively less high Kangra valley, situated in the lap of the
mighty Dhauladhar ranges, irrigated with streams which descend
from perennial snows, and interspersed with homesteads buried in
the midst of groves and fruit trees. Kangra has been known as the
home of the proverbial mighty mahseer to which effect a fairly
large account of evidence is available from the vivid accounts of
various anglers interested in heavy fish. The river Beas and the
Pong Dam reservoir provide attractive fish grounds to the
anglers. Besides mahseer, the other fish available is malhi, soal,
bachwa, god shingara etc. Although there are many places and
rivers and streams where mahseer is available, the following
beats are considered the best.
Confluence of the
Binwas tributary with the river Beas. A place known for its
fantastic size of fish, with deep pools and many stones and
hiding places. The approach is via Palampur, Andretta and
Jaisinghpur. From Sari Marog village, a 3 km footpath leads to
the spot, which entails a steep and a breathtaking climb of about
stretch between Harsi Pattan and Nadaun:
There are numerous beats on this stretch, easily accessible from
the Palampur-Bhawarana-Thural road. The famous spots are the
Mandh-Khad confluence, Lambagaon pool, Neogal confluence near
Alampur, and Ambter, 2 km above Nadaun itself.
Jwalamukhi via road. After 8.5 km this locality offers three good
spots, viz. the Chamba Pattanpool, the Kaleshwar beat opposite
Chamba Pattan village, and the Uppar Chamba Pattan Run. All these
places offer safe catches and can’t be fished in one day.
Kuru village offers
two fishing spots, both of which are accessible from one of the
two river banks. The Kuru- Pool is the confluence of a small Khad
with the Beas river, joining about 1 km above the village and
forming a small bay, above and below which exceptional catches
have been experienced. Access is through a 3 km- footpath from
Dehra-Jwalamukhi road where a peepal tree and a small water tank
is located at the rode side.
Pong Dam Reservoir:
Pong reservoir from
Dehra to the Dam proper offers excellent fishing for mahseer
almost round the year when fishing is open. The Pong reservoir
can be approached from Pathankot via Jassur, from Chandigarh via
Talwara, and from Dharmsala via Dehta and Nagrota Surian.
The area of Ashni
stream upto its confluence with the river Giri, falling in Solan
and Sirmour district, provides enjoyable fishing opportunities.
Near Solan, about 30 km away, on the Rajgarh road, passing
through a valley dotted with plum orchards, fields and little
farm houses, across the Giri bridge, is Gaura, once known for its
huge mahseer. The place offered good spot to the erstwhile
Patiala rulers and their British guests. Even today, Gaura, apart
from bring a scenically beautiful place, offers good prospects
for mahseer fishing. Another spot is the stretch of river Yamuna
from Naught ferry crossing down stream in Ponta Sahib.
a place located at a
distance of about 7 km from Aut on National Highway-21 is an
ideal trout angling spot on river Tirthan. It has a HPPWD rest
House and license office of Sub-Inspector Fisheries.
Government has specificallydeclared Tirthan river
and taken a historic decision not to allow any hydro power
project on this river as well as it’s tributaries in order to
maintain it’s aquatic biodiversity. Every year fingerlings
of brown as well as rainbow trout are stocked in this river by
the department. Almost each & every angler went satisfied in the
past after fishing in a stretch of 20 kms upstream Largi.
Scientific evidence has proven that angler’s equipment,
particularly felt soles, is responsible for moving some ANS
species such as whirling disease spores, Didymo, and New Zealand
mud snails. Due to its porous nature, felt may have the
potential to transmit other ANS, too. While fish health
professionals, biologists, and others may use chemical treatments
for their working equipment, there is no single chemical
treatment that will kill various ANS. Therefore, TU recommends
that anglers simply inspect, clean, and dry their equipment.
When traveling between drainages, inspect your equipment for
sediment, debris, and plants. Thoroughly clean with water, hot
water if available, and use a soft brush to clean seams and folds
in waders and shoes. Whenever possible, dry your equipment,
too. Desiccation will kill some ANS, not all, so, drying is a
very good idea. While these simple recommendations will not
guarantee the prevention of all ANS movement, they will help
reduce the risk of spread and help protect our precious trout and
Never transport any fish, plant or animal, alive or dead, between
Always check, clean and dry all equipment.
PREVENTION METHODS FOR ANGLERS:
What is Whirling Disease?
Myxobolus cerebralis (Mc) is a parasite that
infiltrates the head and spinal cartilage of fingerling trout
where it multiplies rapidly, causing the fish to swim erratically
and, in severe cases, die. When an infected fish dies, millions
of tiny indestructible Mc spores (each about the size of a red
blood cell) are released to the water where they can survive in
this “dormant” form for up to 30 years. When Mc spores are
ingested by Tubifex worms, the spore changes inside the worm and
is released from the worm in a highly infective form, the
Triactinomyxon (Tam). Tams are free-floating in the water until
they infect trout, causing spinal deformities and decreased
abilities for feed. Whirling disease is most infective to rainbow
and cutthroat trout, but can infect all salmonid species. Sick
fish Mc spore Tubifex worms Tams
What does an infected fish look like?
Typical signs of whirling disease include a darkened tail,
twisted spine and deformed head (shortened, twisted jaw). Young
fish may also swim erratically (whirl). However, other diseases
and even genetic conditions can cause these signs as well. If you
see fish with these signs in an area where whirling disease has
not been reported, you should contact your state fisheries
How has whirling disease spread?
Stocking or natural movement of live, infected fish is the
primary route by which whirling disease is disseminated. However,
there are other ways that the parasite can be spread, including
by birds and humans – particularly boaters and anglers
Is there anything anglers and boaters can do to help prevent
Anglers, boaters, and others can make a difference in reducing
the chances of spreading whirling disease. Distribution of the
parasite is expanding rapidly in some areas, so you should assume
its presence if you don’t know otherwise. Recommended precautions
that will help prevent not only the spread of whirling disease,
but also other disease-causing organisms and aquatic pests
Never transport live fish from one water body to another.
(This is illegal in many states.)
Do not use trout, whitefish, or salmon parts as cut bait.
Dispose of fish entrails and skeletal parts properly.
Never discard fish parts in or near streams or rivers. Because an
infected fish may harbor tens of thousands of myxospores, simply
disposing of infected fish parts in a clean drainage could
provide enough spores to start an infection. Do not discard fish
parts in a kitchen disposal. Whirling disease myxospores can
survive most wastewater treatment systems. Instead, discard in
dry waste that would go to a landfill.
Rinse all mud and debris from equipment and wading gear, and
drain water from boats before leaving an infected drainage.
This is good practice for preventing transfer of other aquatic
hitchhikers as well.
Although the above precautions will remove most spores from your
gear, you may want to consider the following if fishing in
heavily infected waters:
! Rinse, then thoroughly dry your boots, waders and other
fishing equipment. This is generally sufficient to kill the TAM
stage of the parasite.
! Chlorine (regular household bleach) is a very effective
disinfectant, and one of the few that can kill all stages of the
parasite if used at the proper concentration. However, chlorine
is a very strong chemical and can harm your equipment with
prolonged exposure, so make sure you rinse the chlorine off your
waders and other equipment after you disinfect, and dry in the
� To kill the TAM stage, use 1 part chlorine to 32 parts water. It
must stay in contact for about 10 minutes to assure disinfection.
� To kill the mature myxospore that may be found in the mud from an
infected stream is much more difficult and hard on equipment.
o 50% solution (1 part chlorine to 1 part water) - dip waders into a
solution of the bleach or wipe or spray it on.
o 10% solution (1 part chlorine to 9 parts water) and soak your
equipment for 10 minutes.
! Quaternary ammonium compounds are also effective in killing
both parasite stages. These disinfectants are commercially
available for disinfecting fishing equipment (Bright Water TM) or
for the pet/veterinary trade (Roccal-D TM, Parvosol TM).
! Equally effective is water heated to nearly boiling (200°F)
poured over your gear
allowed to cool.
What can state and federal agencies and outfitters do to help?
Provide clean water and a hose at boat ramps and popular fishing
spots on heavily infected waters for rinsing equipment.
Provide some means for brushing boots, for example a simple boot
scrubber like the one pictured here, near the hose.
Post maps of the known distribution of whirling disease at
popular fishing sites so anglers know if they are either fishing
in a heavily infected water or have come from one
4. Post instructions for preventing the spread of Mc and other
aquatic nuisance species.