Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA ) starts issuing angling licences

Anglers try their luck at Tribeni
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has started issuing licenses to people interested in angling for helping preserve endangered fish species found in the hills and also to promote angling tourism, a new concept for the tourism sector of the hills. The GTA fishery department on Thursday released 75,000 fish hatchlings in Tribeni, the confluence of the Teesta and Rangeet rivers. Hatchlings were also released simultaneously in Mirik.
Jyoti Kumar Rai, GTA Sabha member in-charge of the fishery department said, “We have released hatchlings worth Rs23 lakh in the Doban, Relli and Rambi rivers including the Teesta and in Mirik. The idea is to safeguard the fish of these rivers as they are nearing extinction due to mindless fishing. The other idea is to promote monitored angling in the rivers that are frequented by anglers.”
Hatchlings of the Golden Masher, a prize catch among anglers, along with local varieties such as the Katla, Ashala and Sol have been released by the fishery department. From now on, angling activity in the hills will be strictly monitored for effective preservation of endangered fish species.
“We will allow only those with licenses to engage in angling activities. We will forbid the use of dynamites, poison and electric current to catch fish,” said Rai. Violators will be liable to a fine of Rs 2,000 and imprisonment according to the West Bengal Inland Fishery Act of 1984.
“We have the law and we will be working with the police department to ensure people fish properly. It will also be mandatory for anglers to immediately release catches that weigh less than 1kg back into the water. Catches of more than a kg can be taken away but the anglers will have to pay a price of Rs120 per/kg,” Rai said.
GTA area residents who are interested to avail of the licenses from the fishery department can do so by paying an annual fee of Rs500, while those from outside of the GTA will be charged Rs1,000. The hill body will also set up counters in angling spots where tourists can fish by paying Rs50 per hour.
“Many tourists are interested in angling but they may not seek licenses. As such, we have given them an option of paying at an hourly rate. But they must spend a minimum of three hours in fishing,” said the GTA executive member.
Although the ideal angling season is from mid-February to mid-May, the banks of the Teesta, Relli and Rishi are flooded with enthusiasts all year round. Fishing activity remains suspended during the monsoon  from May end to September because of the rise in water levels. Even so, Rai said, “We will not allow fishing from end-May to August because this period is the breeding season for fishes,” he said.
A Kolkata-based angling company is helping the GTA to promote the activity in the hills by setting up the necessary infrastructure. (EOIC)

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  1. How can i get license and can i do it in the Mirik lake.


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