What I am going to talk about here today is about a possible way to rejuvenate those peaceful and exciting days...like a dream come true...you may think I am crazy...but hear me out...
Many times, Corbett has spent several words mentioning about the fun and excitement while fishing...which all of us fishermen would wholeheartedly agree to. But towards the later part of his life, he had expressed his concerns about the loss of aquatic life in a rate that was going to ruin the heaven of fishermen for ever. This is where little memories of my childhood shadow my eyes. My father taught me and bunch of other toddlers in the village how to swim in our village river. When we became able swimmers (and we could swim across the river about four times in a go) we developed interest in catching the fish swimming under water in bare hands. There were lots of them and some times we used to get lucky. Sometimes we used to form a group under water and we would chase a bunch of fish toward the bank. Some of them used to get caught in the algae near the shore in an effort to hide themselves...in vane... we knew where the smart fish was hiding...all we had to do was to push the algae up the shore and retrieve the fish with little effort.
Most of the people in my village were fishermen and mostly earned their livelihood by fishing off of the river and selling them. But we still used to get ample bites when we used to go angling with our hand made poles. When I grew up to be a teenager, I realized that people in my village are not only catching fish to meet their needs, but they also have become greedy. All of them were catching and killing fish as maniacs to afford building houses, buying vehicles and even to buy fancy pairs of shoes. There was no regulation, so no body listened to any body when they were advised against doing so by the more thoughtful ones.
I was out of my village (a slightly unknown village named Motarangapal in Jajipur Town, Orissa in the bank of river Baitarani) for higher education and several years passed before I could return to my village to see my granny. It was my all time favorite past time to go to the deepest point in the river and cast my bait to reel a big catfish in when I visited my village. I always enjoyed the view, the breeze and the deeply fulfilling peaceful time on the river bank. And I tried doing that that time too...I kept casting my baits, lures, swimmers, flies and so on...every trick that I possibly knew. I could not get a single bite after trying for a full week in a row. I was very surprised...it was very disappointing too...I started doing little inquiry...and the truth that was revealed to me was dreadful...The whole river has been fished out so bad over the years that the river did not have enough fish to generate eggs to replenish itself with the lost fish for quite a long time to come...some species of fish who were aggressive bait eaters (local name Balia) has been wiped out from the river due to shortage of food...there was no sign of migratory birds...the survey report produced by the state showed that the river was not in a chemical state to make it conducive to the existence of certain species of fish and crustaceans. Certain kind of fish species have been taking a heavy toll due to a cancer like disease which has been caused by the overuse of lead in fishing nets...and those species are no more suited for human consumption...to be precise the place was no better than hell for both fishermen and fish alike. And the so called fishermen who have been surviving on the river, have been running their fish business relying on several commercial fish suppliers.
Friends, I cannot possibly explain the pain I started feeling in my heart...I felt like I have not been a good friend to this river... and the river is just dying on me waiting and waiting...sick and tired of the piracy and torture of some stupid and selfish people...thinking that some day her friends will come to help her survive. I felt very heavy in my head and returned home that evening. I talked my heart out to granny about the situation long through the night...and I promised something to myself ...
Ever since, I have thought about what I could do about it ...how could I bring the past life back to my dear village river. I finally found the answer when I came to Virginia to attend graduate school. I learned about the Trout stocking scheme in Virginia run by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries .
Trout is a beautiful fresh water fish native to Virginia and a charm for fishermen.
|Trout Hatchery in Paint Bank, Virginia|
At least this is where I can start...and may be... in some auspicious future, others will put their heart to join me, if I am lucky enough...
Talk to you later..