Attracting tourists through recreational Golden Mahseer fishing

The Sunkosh River in Tsirang and Dagana region is known for Golden Mahseer. To capitalise on the presence of the rare sport fish, the Tsirang and Dagana divisional forest offices have opened a high-end recreational fishing in the river in March last year. So far, 24 people have tried recreational fishing in the river. The initiative is to attract tourists to the region and to contribute to the local and the country’s economy.

The recreational fishing site starts from Sunkosh Bridge at the Tsirang-Dagana border and goes on to Lhamoi Dzingkha in Dagana. In a year, 14 foreigners and 10 Bhutanese have visited the area for recreational fishing which generated Nu 690,000.

“The fishing is solely for recreational and not for consumption. Visitors are allowed to just catch, see and carry out a brief research about the fish. After that, they have to release it back to the river,” said Phuntsho Tobgay, the Chief Forestry Officer at the Divisional Forest Office in Tsirang.

Fishers are allowed to use only single barbless hooks while fishing. The divisional forest offices in Tsirang and Dagana are issuing online fishing permits.

Phuntsho Tobgay said, “While catching fish, fishers are not allowed to use any insects or other means. They have to use only artificial fish bites.”

Bhutanese visitors have to pay a permit fee of Nu 1,500 per person for a day while the tourists are charged Nu 7,000.

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