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 Post subject: Mahseer
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:16 am 
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Hey , don´t take it too seriously, but i had the idea, or "vision" of putting Mahseer in European Waters, because it´s a) warm enough b) enough natural food and c) maybe a chance to save the species from extinction, now that you mention it !

I have heard of the industrial "progress" in India and i fear for a lot of species, especially the Mahseer.

Spain (River Ebro) or other Waters would work ?!

Some of my colleagues find the idea inspiring, what do you think ?

Greetings and lots of luck !

Tilman


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:52 am 
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Every country goes through industrial ‘evolution’, UK did, the Salmon is still there. I am sure that the Mahseer will hold it's own in Indian rivers and this is where Forums like this will help. Catching a Mahseer in India is a completely different experience and holds a charm of it's own. For me it is not just the fish but the whole experience.

While your idea to protect the species is a noble one, I personally am against introducing foreign species into a alien environment you first need protect the local wildlife and fish stocks or you could unwitting ruin another ecosystem. Things like that have been done in the past with disastrous results.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:02 pm 
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Bobby, I have no idea about translocating fish, but there are more black buck and sambhar and partridges in texas than in India-great conservation effort from a few that were taken to US in the 50's.LEgal hunting etc
I have heard the reverse about fish though-the foreign species gobble up the native species and endanger them.Any info on this one? guess this can work both ways? Some ? tilapia species-correct me if I'm wrong with the name or is it catfish? introduced for food here in india(?an african cat?) seem to have rum amok with a massive proliferation (typical indian style family planning! :oops: )
Lets hear more about this people, very intriguing and sure will be informative
Best
Axx


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:51 am 
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The mentioned River Ebro in Spain is an example for "relocation success".

There were only small carp and pikeperch (zander) there, except for the whitefish. the carp were too numerous to grow.

In the early 70ies some german folks went down there and "introduced" the European catfish (Wels). And some American GIs brought some Black Bass with them.

Now, 35 years later you have the introduced fish growing to record sizes !
With a welcome "side effect" that the carp now regularly reach the 40lbs.
The Wels growing to nearly 3 meters and "dontaskemehowmuch" pounds !

The fishing tourism in that region is earning those peoples´living now.

The region was flooded because of an electricity dam and now is a fishing "Mecca".

I thought about introducing the Mahseer especially there, because it´s already "touched" and will do no more harm there, i suppose.
(If it can survive and spawn there, that is !)

Greetings to all of you all around the globe !

And remember : Nature laughs last !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:40 pm 
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Good luck buddy! Give the baby mahseer protection, and it will eat you out of hose n home. :lol:
Regards
Owen


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:26 pm 
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Problem is Tilman, you can never tell what the outcome might be.
Introducing mahseer to the Ebro might be a way of providing more interesting fishing. They might reach huge sizes like the cats and carp have. They might not have any adverse effect on the other species in there at all.

Or, they could completely change the ecology of the entire river and it's tributaries, leading to the loss of the carp, cats, bass and others. They could cause the collapse of the whole fishing industry there.

If you doubt the risks, look at how tilapia are cropping up all over the Kaveri system now.
See how KHV sent several fisheries in the UK to the brink of collapse last summer, caused by stocking of scientifically mutated fish. Even on fisheries where they weren't stocked, the virus was moved in and in some cases led to the death of hundreds of thousands of carp.
Look at how carp have driven Murray Cod to the edge in Australia.

There are too many instances of non-native species overrunning native species to take the risk, even though there have been some success stories.

Currently, we are looking at the Kaveri to determine if the wrong type of mahseer has been stocked. That may have had an adverse effect on the position of the native type in the river, and we're talking the same basic type of fish. Not some completely new species that will be desperate to carve it's own niche in the ecosystem.

It's good that you are thinking about how to preserve the mahseer, but I for one think stocking them into a completely new environment is a step too far. :o


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:18 pm 
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Steve,
Personally, i probably wouldn't fish for them in Europe, as it is as much the surroundings/wildlife/scenery as the fish themselves that makes me go to India as often as i can.
Catching them in Spain just wouldn't be the same.
I imagine that they could do okay in stillwaters as well, but again it wouldn't be the same as catching them from a river, much like barbel in England.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:16 pm 
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Dead right there mate. Although mahseer were once far more widespread than they are now.

Perhaps if someone set up a proper thali joint on top of Mequinenza Dam, I might reconsider :lol: :lol: :wink: .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:43 am 
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There's a certain logic to the notion that if mahseer were supposed to be living in the foothills of the Pyrenees, then the good Lord would put them there in first place.

I remember reading once about the introduction of nile perch into Lake Victoria with disastrous consequences ... more than 300 indigenous species (many of which lived nowhere else in the world) were wiped out virtually overnight.

I think that mahseer are a tough and adaptable species of fish, and to my mind the greatest joy of fishing for them is exploring their natural environment.

From my readings I suspect that natural populations exist as far west as Iraq and Afghanistan. It's therefore reasonable to assume that they are also present in Iran.

Heading East, it's fairly common knowledge they're present in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand.

China is still a bit of an unknown (at least to me).

Explore all these areas thoroughly, THEN, maybe we could start thinking about tinkering with the natural order of things ...


Last edited by andy_youngs on Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:06 am 
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Yes they are present in Iran and Afghanistan...I remember reading a book about this


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:55 am 
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Thought some really great fishing has been produced by introducing alien species into new environments (trout to New Zealand and to the Andes Mountains, for example) it equally possible to have a disaster. The current infestation of the Mississippi River system with hybrid grass carp is driving the local fisheries officials mad and has a strong possibility of destroying the entire ecosystem. Sorry, but much as I admire the mahseer, she belongs to the subcontinent and not to Spain.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:02 pm 
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Hi is this old sarge from NE? Cant be two for sure!
Welcome aboard!
Axx
(Eljefedouble)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:25 pm 
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Guy's there was a mention of mahseer surviving in still waters, possible but i do think you need to have water flow in and out for the mahseer to breed naturally. Besides this, what lies at the bottom of the water is as important for the fish to really thrive. A rocky or clean sandy bottom is what is required. I understand some of those lakes in Spain that hold the big cats are actually submerged orange orchards.
But all this talk is irrelevant because you guys can't be serious. So i'm off fishing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:46 am 
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Hi Eljefe,
Yup, it's me spreading information and annoyance all over the net! :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:44 am 
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Sarge,
Good for you, hope to hear from you often.Get your friends along too...
Best
Axx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:24 pm 
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Introducing foreign species can be seen as an evolutionary act, because we as human are part of nature, so there is no such thing as unnatural :shock:
:wink:
And just as a reminder: Carp were introduced into europe and other countries from chinese waters, to become a well faring and popular species over the last 500 years at least.

No hard feelings, it´s just an argument for saving the mahseer.
If the Mahseer could walk or swim in the ocean for a while, maybe the species would have travelled to spain long ago ?

Have a wonderful sunday !

And remember: Nature laughs last !!! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:29 pm 
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I know some, who believe carp have led to the destruction of some pristine habitat in the UK, as well as the oft-mentioned destruction in Oz.

See where you're coming from Til, but perhaps it's better if we don't play god (or God if you prefer)?

Enjoy your Sunday as well :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:11 am 
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Tilman wrote:
If the Mahseer could walk or swim in the ocean for a while, maybe the species would have travelled to spain long ago ?
:wink:


Not on an Indian Passport mate, do you know how hard it would be for those buggers to get past Spanish Immigration, let alone a resident visa :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:48 pm 
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Hi Tilman,

It just wont work. There are four distinct species in India. Two are of the Cauvery River, one in the rivers at the foothills of the Himalayas
and the third in the rivers and lakes of the Western Ghats. Thre different environments.

When the survival of the mahseer of the Cauvery was threatened in the early 70's by dynamiting and were driven into deep pools away from their natural haunts and stopped breeding it took a handful of experienced mahseer anglers (WASI - Cauvery Project) to bring back the big mahseer to their natural habitat and prime mahseer waters.

We did it once and having been actively involved in the project from its inception I am confident with the help of members who have expressed their concern we will succeed again.

I will make a posting later with suggestions and proposals.


Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Hi Don,
can you tell me whether the fingerlings inducted into the Kaveri in the 80's were of Tor Kudhree, or were these fish already existing in the Kaveri along with Tor Mussullah.
The records at the Tata Power station at Lonavala show that 10000 fingerlings were inducted into the Kaveri from their stock, this info is available on the web, but it is not clear, whether the fingerlings were of the mussullah or Kudhree variety.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Yes Owen, tor khudree fingerlings were released into the Cauvery 1975/76 by yours truly under advice from Mr Kulkarni the then adviser to TATA Electric on their mahseer project on the Lonavala Lake and former Director of Fisheries, Maharasthra. I have seen photos of tor khudree taken 25 years later and to my surprise they were big having outgrown their siblings in Lonavala. I do not beleive these fish are responsible for the sudden decline in numbers, since 2004 to my knowledge, of the 70lb and above tor mussullah. It has to be a fish that multiplies rapidly and is a varacious feeder. This is where correct identification of species is important. A fish wrongly identified as a mahseer and introduced into the Cauvery will create havoc. Steve is of a similar view.

What is worrying is the sudden increase in numbers of what is being called the blue fin mahseer. The normenclature does not fit in with any known species of mahseer but with its blue fins is identifiable with the Malabar Carp which is a strain of the Deccan Mahseer. Ironically both are known by similar names but discovered by two different individuals. The Malabar Carp: barbus tor khudree - Jerdon and the Deccan Mahseer - barbus tor khudree - Sykes. These blue fin fish are now found in every kind of water of the Cauvery River system and as far away as Bheemeshwari. They are exhibiting characteristics and habits of the lesser carps and if they are carp they will eat the mahseer out of the Cauvery in another five years time.

I have watched Deccan Mahseer being taken by anglers, have a weakness for Mepps, and examined the fish for correct identification and I dont remember see a single one with blue fins.

The simple method for identifying a fish as a mahseer is to count the scales on the lateral line: 26 - 28 depending on age. A carp will have 24 scales.

The uninitiated must be helped to use the correct normenclature for each specie. Take for example; a mahseer, tor mussullah, with a gold tint taken on the Cauvery is called a golden mahseer, the tor putitora of the north is also called a golden mahseer but both are two different species. I believe this where we have gone wrong on the Cauvery. Most of us believe we have a fish called just the mahseer and any fish which looks like one is another mahseer.

Will you join a core group which I will propose to set up to research the causes for the decline in the mahseer population and evolve remedies?
I met Jeen recently in Abu Dhabi and did a spot of boat fishing along with my son and son-in-law. He was very kind to have given us an open invitation. He has graciously offered to help with whatever project I have in mind. I will request other members too for thie valuable help.

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:54 pm 
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Don, we need to meet up when I'm in BNG with Dr Mark Everard. We will be taking measurements of all the mahseer we can to establish their characteristics. Hope to get bluefins, as well as khudree and musullah, plus any other we can beg steal or borrow access to.

email me on:
stevenbobbie@yahoo.co.uk
And I'll set up a meet.

regards,
Steve


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 Post subject: Mahseer
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:33 am 
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Good morning Steve, Yes, we must meet. Tell me the date, place and time, others too will be interested.

I will be away from Feb 9 to 18 fishing in the Andaman Sea.

Don


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:50 am 
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Hi Don / Steve,

I am willing to be part of this. Time is an issue because of work, and is one of the reasons why i did not join the WASI angling commitee this year.
However i will put in as much time as i can on this.

You are right about some anglers not knowing the difference between Putitora, Mussullah and Kudhree.

In the case of the former two, there should be no confusion as they are easily identifiable, but i am pretty sure that the Kudhree is the bluefin that is in the Kaveri.
I used to hear about them being in the Bhavani in years gone by and now they seem to have over run the mussullah altogether in the Kaveri.

Without a doubt, the bluefin is a mahseer Don, i can tell the difference. They do not seem to grow as big as the mussullah (which coincides with what info i have from the Tata Power website), and neither is the fighting qualities as good as the mussullah.

The decline in numbers of the mussullah could be because they are not breeding as well as the kudhree. It is just some of the old large fish that remain in the Kaveri (mussullah) and the new fish that are below the 60lb size are mostly tor kudhree.

Last month while camping at Haira we were able to see a lot of baby mahseer that were near the banks, and even caught some while fishing for carp. The bluefin outnumbered the baby mussullah 1:5 or even more.

The induction of large numbers of murral fingerlings into the Kaveri by you know who, was a big mistake, and i think the same has been repeated at the forbes sagar. People with no knowledge of fish, have been in charge for too long now. We think we are taking a step in the right direction on conservation and preservation, but we could be creating a temporary improvement and a long term set back.
Regards
Owen


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 Post subject: Mahseer
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:46 pm 
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Thank you Owen. We have a lot of work to do and I look forward to others joining the group and putting their heads together.

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:08 pm 
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Looks like everyone is still moving ahead, that's great.
I'll post this in Environment as well, but check these sites out:

a-c-a.org

and

blueprintforwater.org.uk/blueprint.html


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:53 am 
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Hi everyone,

Sorry for not communicating recently… life and all that… but tried to make quite a long post yesterday but it seems not to have saved. Life and all that… This is a fascinating thread and I have a few points that I hope will add spice:

1. ALIEN INTRODUCTIONS

In my opinion, as a scientist that’s worked on aquatic systems all over the world, a BAD idea!! I’ve worked on the aftermath of carp introductions in Australia, USA, Europe and Africa and it ain’t a pretty sight for the balance and stability of ecosystems. Ditto American crayfish in Africa and Europe, American mink in Europe, Nile Perch outside of their native African range, barbel in some British rivers where they did not occur previously, etc. Also zebra mussels, ruffe, New Zealand swamp stonewort, topmouth gudgeon, sunbleak, etc., etc…. I could go on. Introductions may seem attractive but the downsides for whole ecosystems are potentially vast and certainly too big to risk. For all the ‘successes’ (trout in Nepal, etc.) there is a far bigger dark shadow of failures.

2. CONSERVATION IN SITU

Sadly for the threatened mahseer, the only solution is protecting the rivers in which they occur. Now, mahseer are a lot like salmon in some regards, using whole river systems from headwaters for spawning and nursery areas through to lowland big stretches for summer survival and maximum growth. They need habitat, water quality, adequate flows, seasonality of river discharge, her factors besides to be right, prospering or suffering with whole river systems. Trouble is, development (industry, land use, dams) tends to operate at local river stretch, or at best State only, levels. We need to look broader to see how to protect, restore or mitigate the ‘pinch points’ on the whole system. They can persist in lakes, but they need access to good spawning habitat or these populations are not viable, so there are ways of maximising the opportunity without blocking off development… it is just that we have to look at catchment scale and seek the sustainable solution (not that Europe has any brilliant examples to share beyond the work of the voluntary sector in formation of River Trusts.) How to achieve that in India? That is for all of us who care to deduce.

3. TRUSTING TO TECHNOLOGY
I wish I had the faith to say that the mahseer will still be there when this round of development is complete, noting the previous poster’s point about British salmon. Sadly, British salmon are few and not well!! And as to the burbot, most shad populations, etc… I rather feel that this is nettle we have to grasp together rather than hoping for the best! Same applies to the ‘we’re part of nature so introductions are natural too’ line. We’re natural but that’s no excuse for bombing or machine-gunning cities, or hunting the dodo to extinction!

4. LOCAL SPECIES AND GENETIC STOCKS
The widespread stocking as a panacea worries me for four reasons. (1) It overlooks the importance of protecting or fixing the catchment so that mahseer populations can be self-sustaining. (2) Various species of mahseer are bred at Lonalva (and elsewhere) and it is possible that the ‘wrong’ species may be stocked. (3) Hybrids are bred on these farms and they might get in. (4) Most significantly, genetic diversity is broad within any species and there will be local mahseer strains best adapted to some rivers; these will be swamped if single strains of mahseer are stocked. This matters a lot in terms of protecting the viability of mahseer populations.

5. MAHSEER SPECIES
Mostly, mahseer are record as ‘black’, ‘golden’, ‘silver’,. ‘blue-finned’, etc. We need to get rather more accurate at identifying species to assess their extent and the right ones to stock (or avoid stocking). Steve Lockett and I are working on this, and I hope to circulate a simple ID guide at some stage shortly. But I can’t find good info on Tor kulkarnii (the dwarf maheer). The main reference is Menon (1992), but I can’t track that down or any other good info. Fishbase does not give a lot. Anyone care to share info, better still get me electronic or hardcopy of the Menon (1992) reference? Any help appreciated!!

Looks like Don Smith and Owen may meet up with me and Steve Lockett when we’re in Bangalore… should be a great chat! I guess Steve is setting this up right now as he’s already in India.

Sorry for the long post!!!

Stay lucky,

Mark


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 Post subject: mahseer managment
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:56 am 
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Good post! I don't know whether the Indian management system more closely resembles the European or the American but when only the shore owners have access or responsibility for the particular stretch of water, things can get ugly fast. All it takes is one greedy mill or chemical plant owner and you can kiss a ecosystem goodbye! I wish I could be more sanguine but it doesn't seem, from this side of The Other Pond, that federal responsibility on the sub-continent for the fisheries is taken sufficiently seriously. Money first, nature . . . maybe someday. Fingers crossed, y'all.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:17 pm 
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Good post from Redfin.

At 42, I'm to young to remember the introduction of barbel into the UK's river Severn but grew up listening to my father bemoaning the loss of the dace shoals, roach shoals, trout and chub as a direct result of the introduction. I've watched the changes as the barbel population has gone from the initial post introduction population of lots of small fish to having a large proportion of the rivers biomass tied up in a few big fish. It ain't pretty.
The initial post talks about the improvements to the Ebro system but fails to mention what happened to the native ecology that existed prior to the introduction of Bass, Bleak, Catfish and Zander - the post incorectly assumes that zander were native to the system but they were introduced by German anglers as well. No doubt, there is now a more effective commercial fishery on the Ebro but is that all that matters ?

The presence of big carp and big catfish being percieved as a good thing sadly says more about the current generation of UK anglers than about any kind of sound environmental planning.

Mahseer would undoubtedly be a bad idea in Europe.

Their presence in Europe would undoubtedly be bad for them in India as well because a good deal of pressure to protect and maintain stocks is generated by the income that angling tourisn generates. If the mahseer can be caught in Europe, why bother to protect them in India ?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:18 pm 
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Sarge,
the Indian management system resembles... an indian system! :twisted: Always money first.The major river system here near Delhi is teh Jamuna and its a sewer with chemical effluents etc for near on 200Km...


Mark, Good post.
will be good to see the outcome of your confabulations with the Bangalore gang.

Best
Axx


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:55 am 
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Guys,
Great discussion!

My humble point of view: we should NOT introduce a mahseer species into another river, let alone another country.
We should NOT even introduce the SAME species of mahseer into another river. Some limited experience of red mahseer breeding here in Malaysia seem to shout to us this warning.

After years of trying, a bunch of fisheries guys managed to breed some red mahseer. The brood stock was from two different rivers. Most of the fry died eventually. The rest were 'deformed', with downward pointing 'piped' mouths...

><<:>

Eljefe: your Hesienberg Principle is almost as good as Newton's Fourth Law!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:32 am 
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Hi Redfin and all you fishos out there!
Thanks for all the interesting posts on this thread. I do think that there is still a lack of clarity even here in India amongst the anglers and some of the scientific community regading the positive identification of the various species of mahseer, especially the difference between tor mussullah, tor kudhree and tor kulkarni.
There are no pictures posted on the Tata Lonavala article and i pesonally don't think i have seen the Kulkarni yet.
I am pretty sure about the former two, but would like to know from you guys with the scientific background how you would go about identifying these 3 species.
The putitora is easy enough to recognise, so there is no need to include it in this discussion.
Regards
Owen


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:46 pm 
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JB,
there was a lively discussion about Eisenberg in some earlier posts, very tongue in cheek, with Mystic Marral...havent seen him a long time, great posts and helped me a lot in my earlier misadventures about fishing/angling tackle, nomenclature.Hope we see him sometime soon
I want to believe that we we indian anglers CAN save the Mahseer and other game fish (is the term correct? game fish?) thats reality for me :shock: and to think I havent even seen a Mahseer in the flesh, leave alone catch one...
Am catching up on some funda's with 'circumventing the mahseer' and the 'rod in india'-just great for a rainy, cold spell here
Best
Axx


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:27 pm 
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On the whole i don't think the mahseer has had it better in terms of protection. This seems to be the case in many river stretches in the north as well as the south. Of course there is a lot left to be done, but i would like to think things a better now that what they were a few years ago.
This does not mean that all rivers that have increased protection have improved equally. It seems that those that had none at all and now have some are showing dramatic improvement, while some others that were offering good protection earlier and continue to do so today, could have taken a step backwards unknowingly by the introduction of the wrong species of mahseer into its waters years ago.
Really knowing the species and the waters that they belong to will be the key to ensuring that the right balance is struck besides working on all other efforts of conservation and protection.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:48 am 
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I think that the biggest threat to the mahseer is human population growth - that's why so much of the jungle has been cut away and cultivated. Sure there are loads of us that are sad to see it happen, but ultimately, we're powerless voices against a tide of humanity.

I heard that a big damn is being planned across the Karnali as it spills out onto the plains.

Part of me wants to protest, but then who am I to deny roads and electricity to people who really need these things? The tragedy from my point of view is that it would completely bugger up the fishing. I suppose history has shown us that nature is very resiliant and a lot of these resevoirs have ultimately served as good spawning hatcheries for mahseer (look no further than the Western Ramganga).

I've got no problem with restocking programmes. In fact, I think they're essential to maintaining a healthy balance especially once humans are involved in the process.

But thank the good Lord that there are still tracts of land out there that have not yet been mollested ...


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 Post subject: sustainability
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:12 pm
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Location: New Delhi
Dont stop - good reading :wink:

Actually dont know much about identifying fish - the golden is the putitora :?: Mostly catch those up North. The younger ones, I understand have a black lteral stripe, which they loose once they grow larger. Is that correct :?: Dont think I have see blue fin or musullah or khudree up North - am I missing them :?:

About development versus the environment/ecology, we all should be on the same boat - sustainability.

We've had some freakish weather in Delhi recently and a lot about global warming in the news - and one report said that by 2030 or maybe 50 the himalayan glaciers/snow clad mountains will shrink from 500,000 sq km to 100,000 sq km. Eeeeeks :?

I think the efforts suggested by Steve and all is good - my advice keep it low profile and dont get the govt involved, unless you must. cause they will form committees and sub ones and :twisted:

A question to Don, Steve, Owen and others who have thoughts/experience on introducing fingerlings - Am I correct in understanding that it is OK to introduce fingerlings to a river system that have been bred from brood from the same system :?: Or was there a thought somewhere that brood from one river system may not reflect the genetic diversity of the entire population in that river system - like using the same brood stock to reproduce year after year would mean after some time pre-dominance of a few genetic strains in the system and thereby weakening the genetic diversity inherent in the river system pop.

Alternatively, even if we assume that the pop of say golden in a river system up north is infinite, statistically we should be able to figure 'n' so that we can confidentally state that the brood represents 99% of the genetic diversity and then keep on augmenting the brood...

Hey almost forget, have a parcel for Rustam from Henry and will be in Bgl from Friday the 16th. Hope to catch up with some of you and maybe someone can advise me on a first trip to the cauvery :?: Am planning on carrying an alvey reel (as in australian) as I understand that the norm is bait fishing...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:48 pm 
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Hi Viraj,
Why don't you drop in for the WASI get together at the KSCA stadium as a guest on the 16th evening. You will probably meet most of the guys and have a chinny wag.

Getting back to your post, yes the beautiful mahseer that you guys see in the nothern rivers irrespective of their colouration are the putitora which are identifiable by their long greyhound bodies, and are very different to the mussullah and the kudhree.
The mussullah were the original strain in the Kaveri and come in a variety of colours from Silver, Gold, Green, Black, Copper, all of them grow to a pretty huge size except maybe the black and silver, which i have seen only upto ~50lbs. The fins of these fish are silver for the silver mahseer, orange for the gold, green and copper coloured fish, and grey to black for the black mahseer.
Now the kudhree is a dwarf version of the mussullah (as per my analysis and the info on the Tata Power article). They are estimated to grow to 60% of the size of the mussullah and again they come in all colours like gold, black, silver (i have seen very few of these), copper, bronze. They also have the humpback of the mussullah, but have blueish colour fins.
The blue is not so visible in the baby fish, but get the tint as the fish grows, and these fish were wrongly introduced into the Kaveri in '97, and seem to be breeding better than the original strain of mussullah, which is why we are seeing the majority of the fish caught these days are of this colouration and the size of the fish are usually max 50 to 60 lbs.
My guess is that the fish that are being caught these days that are in the 80's are of the mussullah species, which are becoming rarer by the day.
I know some of you guys may not agree to this, but that's my theory.
Regards
Owen


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 Post subject: Re: sustainability
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:34 am 
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Posts: 42
Location: England
virajchopra wrote:
A question to Don, Steve, Owen and others who have thoughts/experience on introducing fingerlings - Am I correct in understanding that it is OK to introduce fingerlings to a river system that have been bred from brood from the same system :?: Or was there a thought somewhere that brood from one river system may not reflect the genetic diversity of the entire population in that river system - like using the same brood stock to reproduce year after year would mean after some time pre-dominance of a few genetic strains in the system and thereby weakening the genetic diversity inherent in the river system pop.

Alternatively, even if we assume that the pop of say golden in a river system up north is infinite, statistically we should be able to figure 'n' so that we can confidentally state that the brood represents 99% of the genetic diversity and then keep on augmenting the brood...


A quote from the 1917 stocking of Nimmal Lake :

"We have sent 837 mahseer fry one year old: and are holding up at Madhapur another 1,620 for dispatch in the autumn. The food supply is excellent. I have never seen so many snails in the water"


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 Post subject: Mahseer
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:18 pm 
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Enlightened

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 66
Sorry Mark, I could not respond earlier. I returned from Chennai Saturday 17 and read your posting the next evening. I am relieved to know we will have a scientist in our midst soon. You are right, we must correctly identify the mahseer of the Cauvery River system if we are to prevent alien species from entering it and multiplying, for a unique species to survive.

Looking forward to a long chat with you and Steve. Have given Steve my phone numbers.

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:51 am 
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Cheers Don,
Good to see you back. How did your trip go ?
Regards
Owen


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 Post subject: Mahaseer Age
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:50 am 
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Owen, Khudree was introduced in the Kaveri in '97 and in ten years they have reached 50-60 Lbs?? Does that fit in with yr thoughts/experience on the Khudree's growth rate?

Recall that a breed of Mahaseer were introduced in the Powai lake by TPC and they grew to 1-2 or was it 3 kilos in 3-4 years. Other artcles mention a growth of 3-400 grams in the first year.

Would be interested in learning about how to identify the age of a mahaseer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:28 am 
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Enlightened

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 66
I got as far as Chennai Owen, one of the party from Mumbai pulled out because his father who is in Bhopal required emergency surgery. My friend Pervis Sethna made a hash of the arrangements. And to make matters worse a new Ugly Stik trolling rod which my son Richard was bringing with him to Chennai for me was lost enroute by Emirates. Emirates swears it was loaded at Dubai but Emirates, Chennai, deny it was received by them. Unfortunately it was loaded onto the second flight but the airline failed to inform Richard of the error who was on the earlier flight. This terrible mix up would not have occured on a day flight. My daughter Julia who is in the corporate office of Emirates would have tracked the rod.

However, I had some success off Chennai. The first day bad seas prevented me venturing out. The second day Sethna and I landed 5 seers (Surmai in Hindi and Marvalassy in Tamil) between 3 and 6kgs between 8.25 and 9.30am. We were having trouble with the boat engine which forced a stop. I hadn't reeled in my lure, a 6" green Rebel minnow, which had surfaced about 100 mtrs away. When the boat started again my reel screamed and the crew believing my line was entangled with the propellor were about to stop the engine when the line cleared from under the boat, the fish took about 50 mtrs of line and while I held on he made another two rushes. He must have been 200 mtrs away before I could retrieve line and it was a long haul. It took me about 15 minutes to bring him to the boat but he was full of fight and could not be gaffed. He moved about 15 feet away on the swell and as the swell dropped away from him the hook was torn from his mouth. The crew estimated the seer to be about 15kgs. I was using a spinning rod with a Penn Senator and because of the length of the rod I could not bring him to gaff. Disappointing but a lot of fun and excitement. My eldest, Syddon, as keen as I am, plans to come down from Dubai for a weekend bash in March. I will first obtain the tide tables from Chennai Port Trust before deciding the dates.


Richard has his own fish business in Dubai and makes periodic visits to his suppliers in India and abroad and plans to get a big game fishing cruiser which will be put at my disposal.

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:38 am 
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Hi Viraj,
Remember that the bluefin has made its appearence in the Kaveri in a big way in the last 5 to 10 years. In the last 5 years the catches have started becoming larger in size every year.

If they were already present in the river system over 10 years back, then there should be pictures of them, but all the pix coming out of the 80's & 90's were all of the mussullah.

If it is the Kudhree, then they have probably grown to their max size. Remember that the growh rate of the fish depends a lot on the food availability and the type of water which includes quality of water they are introduced into, so i don't see why they could not have reached thieir max size in 10 years.
Personally when i am thirsty on he river, i just dip my head in and drink, thats how clean the water is post monsoon.
Even natural breeding takes place in flowing water which the Powai lake probably does not have enough of.


Last edited by Owen on Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Thanks for the report Don, sorry about the loss of your rod!
The seer must have made great eating :D
Regards
Owen


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:22 pm 
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Location: Hong Kong
Don,

Sounds like a good trip any pictures?

REgards,

Bobby


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Enlightened

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 66
No photos Bobby. Pervis was awed by the plucky king he forgot to click.

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:36 pm 
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Thanks Owen. Since I am off red meat fish is my staple food and the seer is my favourite.

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:28 pm 
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Location: UAE
Hi Don,

WElcome back.As for Andamans I think you didnt miss much. My friend Armand was there for Two weeks from 2nd of Feb and returned only a couple of days back. He fished quite a lot .Said he couldnt see any pelagics feeding. Saw lots of bait fish. The water was pretty calm ,everything looked ideal except no fish!!. Could have been the current, time of year or for all you now the tremors they had early this month?
However he and his wife enjoyed the place otherwise ,for the lovely beaches and for the peace and quiet (precious commodties these..)
Wants to go again and again will surely run into fish sooner or later..

Tight lines,

een


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Enlightened

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 66
Hi Jeen,

Nice to hear from you. Have you had any success? I don't suppose Syddon has communicated with you again. He plans to come down in March for a weekend bash off Chennai. I am kept informed of fish movements on a daily basis. I drew a blank the last two days of my visit, the reason being the mackerel shoals moved away possibly further offshore. A large school of bonitos passed us within casting distance but refused our lures. They were going south and in a great hurry as if they sensed the presence of food somewhere in that direction. The info I received yesterday was that large shoals of sardines are coming up from the south and dorados have arrived off Kovalam to intercept them. I am told the kings will not be far behind.

Syddon rang a moment ago to say booking is available for Saturday 10th night.

Gordon Thompson and a friend from Australia also were in the Andamans from Feb 2 and acording to him catches were extremely good for the four
days of their stay. The largest being a 16kg king and 18kg GT and Gordon was broken by a big grouper. Big groupers are in the 50 - 100kg range.

Its a matter of knowing the right places for bigger kings and GTs and my experience of the Andaman sea would have helped. Gordon has invited me to join him next Feb. Feb to April are the best months.

Tight Lines and regards to you and your son. How is he?

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:10 pm 
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Couple of quick thoughts while we are still working on the facts.

Andy; I'm with you when it comes to allowing more people to benefit from 'modern' facilities, but building hydroelectric dams is one of the most environmentally destructive ways of providing power.
Not only does it ruin the ecosystem for most native species, it floods those same people out of their homes and ways of life and leads to large scale degredation of the surrounding land due to salination and siltation.
There have to be better ways to improve the lot of locals, tribals etc, while still protecting the river and it's inhabitants.

Viraj; you are correct to assume that fingerlings stocked from a single brood will devalue the genetic stock. Probably every mahseer that has been stocked into the Kaveri came from an original hatching at Lonavla. They will eventually overrun the native species throughout the river.

As far as Mark and myself have managed to find out, the big mahseer in the Kaveri are mostly khudree. I can't remember the name of the scientist who did the study, but Mark has his book.
He thinks mussulah may be an alien species. He also suggests that every river has it's own 'micro species', so Kaveri khudree will be a little different from Tungabadra khudree.

When we have spoken to the chap in Mangalore, we'll let you all know how it's going. Should be meeting him around first week of April.


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