Powai Angling for Fishing Fame

Lakhs of fingerlings are being released in the lake in a bid to make it the city’s best angling site.

In an ongoing effort to develop the scenic Powai Lake into the best angling location in the city, the Maharashtra State Angling Association (MSAA) is releasing lakhs of fingerlings in the lake this month. Their effort apart, this certainly indicates that the quality of water in the lake has vastly improved.

MSAA General Secretary Shaikh Baqar checks a bag of fingerlings
“Thankfully, due to the BMC’s efforts, the quality of water has improved, and hence for the first time we are in the process of releasing large number of fingerlings in the lake,” said Shaikh Baqar, general secretary, MSAA.

Baqar said that on May 13 and 14 they released 4.5 lakh fingerlings of four species from the carp family. “We released 1.5 lakh catla and one lakh each of rohu, mirgal and silver carp. We plan to release another one lakh catla and rohu along with a lakh of hybrid (cross between catla and rohu) and big head silver carp on May 17 and 19,” said Baqar. He added that after the lake overflows in the monsoon, they will release an additional six lakh fingerlings by October.

Arif Ally, MSAA president, said, “We consulted experts and decided to release the fingerlings in summer as the hatchlings will have enough food. There is ample plankton for them to feed on, and they can grow to 200-400 grams quickly.”

The two to four inch fingerlings, are about five days old and will be flown from Kolkata and released at night. The exercise will cost Rs 8.5 lakh.

Explaining the procedure, Baqar said that the fingerlings have to be released within four hours after they are packed in small bags and sent to Mumbai.

“At night the fingerlings are put into a small net called a hapa, which is like an inverted mosquito net, the four corners of which are tied to two small boats. This is 3 feet below the surface, and helps fingerlings adapt and acclimatise to the lake water. If this is not done and they are released directly in the lake, they will simply perish.”

MSAA, which has 300 members, has also been striving to ensure that Powai Lake, which is not used to supply drinking water, is kept pollution-free.

Source: Mumbai Mirror.