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Van Ghat Mahseer Camp, Corbett

MAHSEER CONSERVATION:
Although Uttaranchal has some of the finest rivers, over the years illegal fishing, overpopulation, construction, dams and use of pesticides have led to severe depletion of fish in terms of species, size and numbers. This is neither good for the riverine ecosystems nor for a potentially great tourism industry, sport-fishing.

The main problem is poaching by illegal and destructive means - dynamites, net and poison. Bombing is rampant in several areas and increases in summers when the water level drops. Our attempt is to transform Uttaranchal into the finest angling destination in the country through proper resource management and providing employment to locals. By giving them a stake in fishing, we hope to give returns to the people living by the river so that they become its custodians.

Van Ghat Mahseer Camp

Jim Corbett, renowned conservationist and the slayer of man-eaters was also a keen angler. The vivid description of his fishing interludes in the Ramganga valley finds mention in his tale 'The fish of my dreams'. Inspired by the need to protect this pristine habitat, we acquired land on the Ramganga at the edge of the forests that hem in Corbett National Park. Van Ghat lies in total seclusion and has immediate access to a well-stocked river.

Mahseer Camp , Van Ghat  camp

Mahseer Fissing , Van Ghat

We maintain a 3km stretch of the river with large sanctuary pools, where we feed fish and don't allow fishing. We have on our own initiative commenced patrolling against poaching and communicated to locals the need to preserve fish for the future. With their cooperation, we have been able to control bombing in our stretch of the river. Thanks to the effective patrolling of local boys Van Ghat has become an excellent Mahseer beat. Lantana, an introduced weed detrimental to native undergrowth had degraded the area. We have de-weeded a huge patch so that once grass is back it will be a boon to herbivores including elephants, who often visit this area.

Catering to no more than two rods at any given time, Van Ghat Mahseer Camp is meant to serve as a model for sport-fishing in Uttaranchal. In the last few months we have hosted a limited number of keen and responsible anglers who have rated this as one of the finest beats for the Golden Mahseer, Goonch and Indian Trout. The numbers have increased considerably and so have the sizes - proof that nature restores itself, if left undisturbed. We have excellent camping facilities, state-of-the-art fishing gear and good gillies to guide you to identified beats.

Fishing Guide Training Program

Ramganga Mahseer Sanrakshan or RMS is a slogan patch the Mahseer guards at Van Ghat wear. We get everybody from children, women and men as volunteers from nearby villages like Marchula, Sankar, Jamria and Baluli. All activities go under the banner of RMS and apart from an outlined task-list for the year ahead, we are doing the following sub-projects.

Mahseer , Van Ghat mahseer camp

Mahseer , Van Ghat Camp

We help locals maintain their own beats (stretches of 1 km) in the immediate vicinity of each village. As successfully demonstrated in Bhakrakot, we spread awareness among schools through games, quizzes and prize distribution. We have initiated eco-tourism activities in local riverine communities by helping them provide services to sport anglers (hot lunch, guide, etc) to supplement incomes.






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