Spectacular winter fishing at Qagan Lake

15:11, December 29, 2010      

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The history of ice fishing in Qagan Lake of Jilin Province can be traced back a thousand years to the Liao dynasty (907-1125 AD). It was said that the Liao emperor Shengzong (reign 971-1031 AD) was fond of eating "frozen fish."

Every winter, he would pitch his tents on the icy lake, and the ice inside the tents would be scraped until one could see the fish swimming below. In these tents, the emperor would discuss state affairs with his officials. Whenever they wanted to take a break, all they had to do was break the thin ice, and they could have a feast on the abundant fish.

Today, ice fishing has become a unique cultural sight at Qagan Lake. Every winter, the spectacle attracts large crowds of fishmongers and visitors.

The fishing method has evolved from a small-scale "wait and catch" method to an elaborate team effort, where several dozen people work together to scrape the ice, cast their nets and pull in the catch. The nets can measure as long as 2,000 meters, and a single net can yield as much as 15 tons.

By Huang Beibei, People's Daily Online
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