Fishing at Kukkarahalli Lake invites ire of bird-lovers
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Fishing at Kukkarahalli Lake invites ire of bird-lovers

February 7, 2019

Mysuru DCF to urge Fisheries Federation to suspend fishing till migratory birds leave Mysuru

Mysuru: Rampant fishing activity has begun in Kukkarahalli Lake at a time when rare migratory birds are here to roost. This has enraged bird lovers and they have demanded immediate stopping of fishing activities.

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, a group of bird lovers and environmentalists said that they saw many coracles inside the lake indulging in fishing since yesterday. They had spread the nets and other equipment in the Lake to catch fish to be sold at various outlets.

“This is a season for migratory birds and rare birds like Pin Tail and Shovelers come to Mysuru and will be here till the end of March. We have no objection if the fishing activities take place after March and after the birds leave,” they said.

Usually, these migratory birds nest in the premises of Lingambudhi Lake every year. More than 500 birds nest there now and they thrive as there is no human interference there. “This year, we have seen Pin Tail and Shovelers even in Kukkarahalli Lake and now there are more than 100 birds there. These birds are shy and sensitive in nature and will leave the place if they detect any human or predatory activities,” they said.

Also, the water level inside the lake is precariously decreasing and birds like Painted Stork and Herons need water and fish to feed on. “Through rampant fishing, we are breaking the food chain of the birds,” bird watchers said and every day, gallons of fresh water from the Kukkarahalli Lake are being pumped to the University of Mysore campus to water the gardens.

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The University of Mysore is the custodian of the Lake and speaking to SOM, University Registrar Prof. R. Rajanna said that the Fisheries Federation was catching fish in the Lake. “It is not some private body that is indulging in fishing. The Fisheries Federation has got the contract of fishing in the Lake for five years and annually, the University gets an income of Rs. 6 to Rs. 8 lakh,” he said.

On the concern raised by bird lovers about fishing in the season of migratory birds, Prof. Rajanna said that fishing activity will not disturb the birds. “We are not using mechanised fishing system here. The Federation catches the fish and sells them at its outlets across the city. I don’t see any problem to the birds here” he added.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Dr. Prashanth Kumar told SOM that this was the season for migratory birds to roost in lakes in and around Mysuru. “I will visit the lake today evening and collect information about the birds and will write to Fisheries Federation urging them at least to suspend fishing activities till the migratory birds leave Mysuru,” he said.

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