Jayanti Sarovar: Game for fishing
Sunday morning saw members of Jamshedpur Angling Club (JAC) trooping with their fishing tackle and bait to three of their favourite haunts — Jayanti Sarovar, Beldih and Bara lakes — for the season’s first catch.
At its first executive committee meeting on Saturday, the week-old JAC panel decided to permit year-round fishing at Jayanti Sarovar, lifting a two-month ban imposed by the previous committee. But, Bara and Beldih lakes will continue to come under the ban’s ambit from January 1 to June 30.
This year’s fishing season, therefore, opened on Sunday with a departure — to allow year-round fishing at the Sarovar — significant not only because the new panel went against its predecessor’s decision, but because it defended doing so with logic.
The JAC office bearers enumerated the advantages of continuous fishing, with newly elected JAC secretary Subroto Das saying this would keep fish thieves and unauthorised anglers at bay. “Our 197 members can go for fishing at the Sarovar from 5am to 9pm everyday of the year. They can keep an eye on non-members who throw bait without permission. This will lessen fish thefts,” Das, a former Bihar Ranji skipper, said.
He added that Jayanti Sarovar did have a six-month ban 10 years ago, but in the past decade it was not really adhered to.
On its predecessor’s reasoning that a break in May and June was needed to prevent anglers from catching egg-bearing fish, the panel said it wasn’t a big issue. “We have observed that generally eggs don’t hatch in the Jayanti Sarovar. And, we maintain the stock of fish by releasing fries in July,” Das argued.
So now, the lake in the heart of Jubilee Park — a favourite angling spot for many of the 197 members — will be open for fishing throughout the year, held at the chamber of club president B.N. Mohanty.
The panel’s seal of approval on round the year fishing without mandatory breaks has won cheers from members. “Ah, it is a big relief for me. I can now fish without hassles. The Sarovar is my favourite fishing destination,” veteran angler Fahim Ansari said.
But the six-month ban on Bara and Beldih lakes from January to June will continue, as these water bodies needed the breaks, Das argued.
Fish in these lakes contact mouth infection, because unlike in the Sarovar, water stays stagnant and does not get sunlight — a strong disinfectant — during winters.
In contrast, Das said that Jayanti Sarovar had inlets and outlets for water movement that kept fish comparatively healthy. The club members also use potassium permanganate and lime at Beldih and Bara as precautions.
According to JAC rules, if a small fish bites, the angler must throw it back to the water. But a fully developed fish — a prized catch — can be taken home and savoured.
Only one problem remained. Das admitted even continuous fishing would not be able to net the midnight gangs of fish thieves at Jayanti Sarovar, which sneak inside Jubilee Park. “We are helpless,” he rued.