China's northernmost province kicks off ice fishing season

(Xinhua) 16:43, December 29, 2023

HARBIN, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of fish bumped in a mile-long fish seine, as fishermen pulled the first haul this winter from an ice lake in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province on Wednesday when the three-month-long winter fishing season started.

The fishing from chiseled ice holes on the Lianhuan Lake in the Mongolian Autonomous County of Dorbod, Heilongjiang, fired the first shot as ice fishing lakes in the country's northernmost province kicked off the harvesting season.

Fishermen selected the areas where they believed to have large shoals of fish on the lake to chip away at the ice, exposing the water surface to cast their nets.

"Bighead, carp, crucian... This year, the fish variety in the first catch is rich," said Jin Feng, a veteran local fisherman.

He said the largest single net of fish on Wednesday on the lake weighed about 150,000 kg.

The ice fishing culture has been passed on in Dorbod for over 1,000 years. In recent years, the bustling scene against the backdrop of the ice lake and frosty banks has been wooed by throngs of anglers and tourists, turning the remote place into a tourist attraction.

While experiencing the unique fishing and hunting culture, tourists can enjoy ice sports and have a taste of freshly made fish dishes with local flavors.

The winter fishing season will continue until the end of March next year, with 18 counties in nine cities in Heilongjiang ready to launch more than 20 fishing-themed activities, said Sun Wenzhi, an official of the provincial department of agriculture and rural affairs.

Boasting abundant freshwater resources, the province has been keen on developing the fisheries sector. In 2022, Heilongjiang has developed 6.4 million mu (about 426,667 hectares) of aquaculture, with the yearly output registering 735,000 tonnes of aquatic products.

In the below-freezing winter temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius in Heilongjiang, harvested fish are quickly frozen. They are immediately loaded for transport to big Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

"Through cold chain logistics, customers can receive the fish in two or three days, and the fish are selling swiftly," said Zhang Jingfeng, who owns a fish store in the fish wholesale market of Dongji in Fuyuan City, Heilongjiang.

"We have built a freshwater aquatic germplasm resource bank, preserving the resources of 106 varieties of species," said Zheng Xianhu, deputy director of the Heilongjiang River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences.

Zheng said the institute has cultivated a new kind of crucian carp without intermuscular bones. This means a significant reduction of fishbones that might stick in diners' throats, which also helps simplify the deep processing of the fish, yielding tremendous economic opportunities.

Wang Zhaocheng, director of provincial agriculture and rural affairs, said that the province will keep promoting industrial integration and technological innovation to nurture ecological fishery.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


Related Stories