Clean, scientific fishing methods guarantee lake's ecology
A bird's-eye view of Yunhe Lake shows its clear waters. In years gone by, poor fish farming methods led to pollution, but that has all changed. [Photo/lsnews.com.cn]
Yunhe Lake, located in Yunhe county in Lishui, East China's Zhejiang province, is set to start its winter fishing season in about 20 days, according to the locals.
"What's different from previous years is we will only catch half the fish and the small ones will be left in the lake to purify the water," said Yan Yuancheng, head of the fishing team.
Villagers living around the lake used to farm fish in enclosures, but due to long-term and sub-standard fish farming methods the water became seriously polluted and the levels of blue-green algae increased rapidly.
Villagers catch fish in Yunhe Lake. [Photo/lsnews.com.cn]
The 33 villages around the lake then reached an agreement to stop that kind of fish farming and decided to raise silver carp and bighead carp in the lake instead, in the hope of receiving economic as well as ecological benefits.
That initiative has paid off many times over, bringing prosperity to the area. Its 33 villages brought in a fishery company, which currently generates about 700,000 yuan ($107,000) in total earnings a year and the 3,056 villagers can receive additional dividends based on the company's annual operating performance.
"This year, besides receiving more than 20,000 yuan in dividends from the company, I can earn 200 yuan a day from fishing," said Zhang Tangxing, one of the villagers.
The annual output of silver carp, bighead carp and other fish in Yunhe Lake in the last two years totaled more than 300,000 kilograms, with annual sales of about 5 million yuan, according to local officials.