The Dams / Barrages are one of the major threats along with the pollution and climate change to the River ecology and fisheries. The River Tons is a major tributary of the Yamuna River in the Ganga basin and home for both the indigenous and exotic fish species. The Himalayan Rivers are mostly preferred for the hydropower projects due to the geomorphologic advantages. The Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) has proposed a 60 MW Naitwar Mori Hydro Electric Project on River Tons.
As a technical consultant, the ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata has carried out a detailed investigation on the fish diversity, abundance and particular focus on the migratory fish species and their reproductive biology. Based on the study, the Institute has proposed Fish Pass Design suitable for the migration of the identified fish species.
To advocate the operational functionalities of the proposed Fish Pass Design, the tagging of 5 different migratory fish species namely - Schizothorax richardsonii (Snow trout), Schizothorax progastus (Dinnawah Snowtrout), Schizothora labiatus (Kunnar Snowtrout), Salmo trutta (Brown trout) and Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow trout) of total 50 numbers were done in the stretch of the River from 19th April to 3rd May, 2021. The tagging was done with an external T-bar anchor floy of 45 mm coded with ICAR-CIFRI.
The Institute also organized the Awareness Programmes on the “Conservation of native fish fauna in River Tons and Tagging methods for fish migration” among the local fishermen, anglers and official staffs of the Hydropower Project. More than 200 participants attended the programme at different locations.
During the investigation, the tagged fish was recovered 4.5 Km upstream from the released site, after 42 Hrs. of tagging, indicating the provision of Fish Pass in the proposed Dam that would facilitate the migratory behavior of the fish species for their sustenance in the River. This is the first study carried out towards tagging of 5 different migratory fish species of high altitude Himalayan River.
The programme was carried out under the guidance of Dr. B.K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI; Dr. A.K. Sahoo, Senior Scientist & Investigator and the Project Staff.
(Source: ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata)