Some fish species are assumed to be becoming extinct in Indaw Lake in Indaw Township, Katha District, Sagaing Region, which is the third largest lake in Myanmar, according to some local fishermen.
About five species of fish are disappearing and they include Hamilton's carp, carp (catla) and notopterus chitala. Such fish species have been depleting for about 10 years.
"Previously, there were over 60 species of fish in this lake. We could not have found above mentioned species for years. Water does not flow into the lake. As drought occurs, the lake is like water in a bowl. As there is little fish stock in the lake, it will be like we have to auction water, not fish. Over 30 years ago, we could catch around 25 viss of fish daily.
"Tint Lwin, head of Katha District Fisheries Department, said: "Not Indaw Lake alone, all lakes connecting Mezar River are also running short of fish. The colour of the river water is like tea mixed with milk. There are reports that fish species are depleting there. We have sold fish from only two out of the five lakes in Indaw Township. But we faced difficulty selling those fish."
Local people are blaming depletion of some fish species for excessive gold panning upstream the Mezar River, increasing content of mercury and cyanide in the river and depleting river course.
"Fish species are disappearing in this lake. No one took notice of this," said Myo Aung stressing the need for cooperation to repair the lake.
Indaw Lake has over 2,000 acres of water surface area. It is four miles in length and about two miles in width.