Intermittent drizzling and rain in the last two weeks in Chattogram is creating a congenial atmosphere for spawning in river Halda, a unique and possibly lone natural spawning ground of carp fish in South Asia.
Egg collectors of Halda, who are hoping for a big haul ahead of spawning season, are preparing themselves with hatching ponds and fixing up nets along the 10-kilometre stretch of Halda ranging from Gorduara to Chayachor area.
Local administration has come forward for the first time to aid egg collectors, by helping them set up scientific hatching ponds where eggs are turned into fry.
Most of the eggs people net get spoiled due to absence of scientific method. This time, egg collectors are weaving hope to reap the best of spawning with the help of local administration.
Mohammed Elias, whose family is involved in egg collection for generations, told The Daily Star that this time the management was better than ever before.
“Local administration, especially the UNO, allocated grants to mend the hatchery which we never got earlier. They are helping us preserve the eggs ahead of spawning,” he said.
If incessant rain accompanied by thunderbolt and gusty wind takes place, spawning may begin within weeks, Elias said.
Ruhul Amin, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Hathazari upazila told The Daily Star that they renovated at least 53 scoops of three hatcheries spending Tk 3.75 lakh, which were left deserted earlier.
Amin also arranged power connection to the hatcheries, so that egg collectors could hatch their eggs without any disruption.
“We intensified patrolling along the riverbank to ensure uninterrupted movement of breeding fish. This year we expect the heyday of Halda spawning to return,” Amin said.
Prof Manzoorul Kibria, an expert on Halda, told The Daily Star that this time initiatives were intensified to save brood fish by local administration.
“Besides, we held meetings with egg collectors of Hathazari and Roazan upazilas to know of their problems in preserving and hatching the eggs. We found out a few problems, and are helping them find solutions,” he added.
This time more mud scoop have been set up in Hathazari and Raozan upazilas with the help of PKSF and IDF, two organisations working on the river.
Kibria said they trained at least 20 officials of the Department of Fisheries to assess the egg collection scientifically, which will help them get the clear picture of the amount of collected eggs.
More than one thousand egg collectors net eggs during spawning time, usually in the month April.