During the second week of October Tjong Khoe and René Beaumont fished the upper Lake Lar basin for their trout. Since many decades the rivers tributary to Lake Lar have been closed for all recreational angling. However, this expedition was no leisure activity, by no means. Its purpose was to investigate whether and, if so, to what extend these rivers could qualify for establishing a trout fishery in Lar National Park. At an earlier occasion it had been agreed by the Department of Environment to perhaps allow such a non-aggravating “use” of the basin’s natural resources as to generate income to cover for the costs of trout and habitat conservancy. For this reason the D.O.E. had been so kind as to issue exceptional permissions to fish these watersheds, and to facilitate transportation and lodging in the Park.
We were amazed and amused. All rivers appeared to be well accessible from the dirt roads that crisscross the National Park. Generally speaking their morphology allowed easy moving along the river, and ditto wading and crossing at regular occasions for the larger streams and quite unhindered wandering in the smaller ones. In regard the purity and quality of the water and the aquatic life present all rivers were in perfect condition. A healthy population of trout was found on each river, at places even in rather large numbers, and in sizes up to 40 cm, the individuals differing according to the characteristics of the respective habitats.
These and many other observations led to the conclusion that there actually are good opportunities to create a fishery (fly only/catch & release) in the upper Lake Lar basin. However, there are serious hindrances to deal with also, the main one being the presence of sheep grazing during the spring and summer months. In this respect it has been suggested to start a pilot project in a most promising river, the lower part of the Delichahi. Of all watersheds this stretch seems the most suitable to fence off, protect, restore, manage, and control. The angling club which is currently responsible for the exploitation of the Haraz River, below the Lake Lar dam, may be called in for assistance to build up this new fishery. Of course CTCF will gladly continue to employ its expertise and knowhow in order to help realize the goals set forth in the respective conservation plans.