Carp mother fishes have laid eggs in the Halda River in Chattogram on Wednesday night.
Fish farmers have collected 50 to 200 grams of eggs at various points of the Halda, the sole natural spawning ground for carp-like fishes in South Asia.
They, however, said the amount of eggs is less this year as there is no favourable environment for the mother fish to lay eggs.
Hathazari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Muhammad Ruhul Amin said the mother fish laid sample eggs on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday night, egg collectors found 50 to 200 grammes of eggs at three points along the river – at Azimerghat of West Gujra union of Raozan, at West Kagitia and at Nayahat and Mashuaghona canal areas of Gardoara union of Hathazari.
According to the fishermen, mother fishes of carp species – Rui, Katla, Mrigel, Kalibaus – started laying eggs at Azim Ghat at Ankurighona area of Hathazari around 12pm on Wednesday. Till morning, local collectors collected eggs from Amtua, Sattar Ghat, Ramdash Munsir Hat, Madunaghat, Garduara, Kantar Ali Chowdhury Ghat, Napiter Ghona and Mardasha areas of Hathazari and Raozan upazilas.
According to the Halda researchers, if it rains with thunder on the night of full moon between the Bangla months of Chaitra and Ashar every year, flash floods occur in the Halda. And then if the temperature is favourable, the carp lay eggs. The mother fish usually lays eggs in Halda between mid-April and June. However, this year, even though there is a full moon, the mother fish has laid eggs without rain and flash floods. As a result, the expected amount of eggs was not found this year.
However, they are hoping that when it starts raining with thunder causing a flash flood from upstream, the mother fish will lay eggs again.
Last year, a 14-year record was broken in egg collection in the Halda with a collection of 7,000kg eggs.
Manjurul Kibria, a Halda researcher and professor of zoology at Chittagong University, said, "Mother fish laid eggs last night. If it rains with thunder in the coming days, there is a possibility of laying eggs in full swing. We are monitoring the situation in the river."
Meanwhile, Hathazari upazila administration beefed up their surveillance to prevent netting of mother fish in Halda.
Ruhul Amin, upazila nirbahi officer of Hathazari upazila said that they increased surveillance as poachers become active in this time to catch mother fish.