Himachal Pradesh has achieved a record price of fish harvested from the Pong Dam reservoir at Rs 266 per kg in the last fiscal, the highest among large reservoirs in the country, the government said on Sunday.
The Pong reservoir with a catchment area of 12,561 sq km with a water spread of 15,662 hectares in Kangra district was created in 1975 by building the highest earth-fill dam on the Beas river.
This has emerged as the leading fishing reservoir in northern India.
A maiden trial for fishing in Pong, some 250 km from the state capital, was conducted by the Fisheries Department in 1975. The state gave fishing rights to families displaced with the dam construction to ensure their livelihood.
The total fish catch increased to 287.513 tonnes in 2018-19 from 98 tonnes in 1975, an official statement said.
At present, 15 fishermen cooperative societies with a membership of 3,902 fishermen and 2,800 license holder fishermen are functioning in the reservoir area.
Fish stock programs in the Pong reservoir were initiated in 1974-75 with the release of 1.30 lakh fry of mirror carp. Since then a regular stocking program has been undertaken. Stocking has been mainly of mirror carp and Indian majors — L. Rohita, C. Catla and C. Mrigala.
Presently, 34.48 percent of carp and 65.52 percent of catfishes are caught in the reservoir.
Besides Pong, fishing is also undertaken in the state’s Kol Dam, Gobind Sagar, Chamera and Ranjit Sagar.