Thursday, 22 August 2013

Fishing Survey

At a nearby pond, the squawking of herons could be heard. A small group of Lesser Tree Ducks glided lazily across a freshwater pond. Baya weavers were busy weaving their unique pendulum nests on a Macaranga heynei tree. Over at two other adjacent ponds, a group of 10 were busy casting lines using rods and hand reels into the tranquil waters. What were they doing?
James Gan gives you an account of
our recent fish survey that documents
the fish life found at our freshwater pond
They were participating in a fish survey during the weekend that included staff of Sungei Buloh, volunteers and staff family members. Unlike the usual fishing practices where the fish end up on dinner plates, the fish that were caught were carefully measured, weighed and released back into the ponds.
Date: 13 May 1999
Time: 1pm to 7pm
Weather: Cool
Location: Route 3 Freshwater Pond

Artificial bait was used and the majority of the fish were caught in this way. A 0.64m Channa striata aka the Common Snakehead weighing 2.5kg was caught after putting up a fierce fight. The rod and line were strained with the weight of the fish, but in the end the skilful angler won. Many "oohs" and "aahs" were heard. Cameras flashed to record the achievement. Not that the other fish were small though—the majority were between 0.4m and 0.5m long.

Park Ranger Charles Lim, hand reeled in a Climbing Perch excitedly while Park Ranger Patricia hooked one on a rod. Other fish caught were Two Spot Gouramies That session saw a total of 24 fish caught on hand reels and rods. Another 30 gouramis were caught with a cast net as were a few unidentified freshwater shrimps.

Through this fishing session, the types and relative numbers of fish that could be caught with various baits and fishing methods in the freshwater ponds of the Park were established.

The survey brought together staff, volunteers and staff family members. Fishing skills were learned or honed. Everyone got to learn another aspect of the Park and the many surprises that it has in store.


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