Sunday, May 26, 2019



Read in a write up from a kashmiri friend that trout fish is indigenous to kashmir.
This is factually incorrect. My dear writer ,please do your home work. I may also correct this writer when he says that the fish in Mattan pond is Trout .No, NOT trout, but local, native “Chiroo” and “Choosh” fish species.
 Let me put facts before all.

Frank Mitchell( known as Mitchell sahib in kashmir )was owner of a carpet factory at Bagh e Dilawar khan and Fateh Kadal.   He was from Scotland and that country is known for Rainbow trouts. It was he who brought seeds of trout fish  and made a successful effort to breed this variety first  in  running waters near Dachhigam  Harwan  sometime around 1900  AD. These seeds  were later used for breeding trout fish in lidder and many other streams in Kashmir. And by 1905, rainbow Trouts were established in major running water streams of kashmir. 
It was he who recommended setting up of Fisheries Department to Maharaja Partap Singh. And  we should be thankful to Frank Mitchell  for this gift .

Two local persons played key role in development of trout fish in kashmir. One happened to be  sudhama ji and other  Gaffar Mir. Sudhama ji  was an  employee in the carpet factory that Frank Mitchell owned. For his innovative work in Kashmir, Frank Mitchell relied  heavily  on Sudhama ji who had profound knowledge of history, Geography and water bodies of Kashmir.

 By 1926 , trout fishing  was developed for European tourists visiting Kashmir .  Maharaja Partap singh took keen interest in this area. Fisheries Department was started  by Maharaja Partap Singh  with Mr. Mitchell as its first  director and Sudhama ji as inspector .Mr Mitchell entrusted the carpet factory job to his brother who was already in kashmir. Mr Mitchell was a widower.

Some shops were opened in Kashmir that sold trout fishing equipment to tourists. I vividly remember a shop " H  GAFFARA FISHING TACKLES"  located on the Bund.  The shop displayed prominently that it was opened in1900by some British  trader  The shop was there till 1990  .  Not sure about its present stsatus .

Maharaja Hari singh developed his private trout farm at Akkad near Seer Salia in Anantnaag Kashmir .
And presently, there are more than 60 authorised  beats for anglers in kashmir . Some popular trout fishing beats of Kashmir are Lidder, Wangath, Gurez, Hamal, Lam, Sindh, Kishenganga, Sukhnag, Doodhganga, Erin, Ferozpur Nallah(Tangmarg), Bringi, Aharbal, Hirpora, Dachigam, Kokernag, Naristan, Madhumati and Nowbugh. In jammu province, i found trout fish in many streams and Nallahs of Bani, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah and  Udhampur areas. So is it seen in river Indus near Leh.

 In kashmir , i saw imported fishing rods manufactured in UK and sold under "Mitchell "brand name. Some more fishing equipment was sold as" Mitchell " brand.
That acknowledges the contribution of Frank Mitchell.

I have personally seen so many streams and Nallahs in Himachal Pradesh full of Trout fish. Presently ,so many beats  in Himachal Pradesh have  become paradise for licensed Anglers . Norwegian technology has revolutionized Trout fishing in streams ,lakes and brooks of Himachal Pradesh. Similar  is the success story of trout fishing in Uttarakhand and Sikkim both places visited by me.

(Avtar Mora)

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