Itanagar (Agencies): Water sports lovers and anglers no longer need to miss the adventure of catching the elusive Golden Masheer fish in Arunachal Pradesh. Bichom River in West Kameng district of the state has now been thrown open for all anglers.

In view of a common practice among all tribal communities of the state, angling is not permissible to those living outside the district as local people consider rivers as community treasures.

Breaking away from the traditional norm, the river rich in fish was formally thrown open to all anglers on last November at a ceremony held at Subu village nestled beneath the picturesque Thrizino circle.

Local people say the river has bounty of Golden Masheer which, they claim, is the toughest among fresh water sport fish.

However, conservationists are doubtful about the opening up of the river as they fear it might encourage poaching of the fish.

The Wild Life Protection Society in West Kameng, which is credited with the idea of opening the river for angling, said the spectacular fish species would only survive if angling holidays were set aside to make people understand the importance of conservation of the fish.

Wildlife Society president Miali Sidisow said it had banned all sorts of poaching in their community forests and rivers and even imposed stringent punishment and fine for disobeying the prohibitory order.

"There are different poaching techniques ranging from bombing, using electric current and use of bleaching powder. But we have prohibited it all," Sidisow said.

Along with Golden Masheer, there are also other important species available in the river like Schizothorax Richardsonii (common snow trout), Barilius Barna, Glyptothorax Horai, Gara Gotyla among others.

They can easily reach the place as it is situated on the Palizi–Thrizino road about 14 km from Thrizino and 5 km away from Palizi.

Both the places have inspection bungalows to help their stay and if they care for added adventure, they can raise a tent near the banks of the river. Moreover, there is also a bamboo-thatched house where anglers can take shelter at a nominal fee.

Beside local traders, businessmen from outside the state like Rangapara, Balipara and Tezpur in Assam’s Sonitpur district sold their goods in the weekly market, said Sidisow.

Inauguration of a weekly market on the banks of the river at the village is an added feature, which including angling will help the villagers to understand the importance of flora and fauna, he pointed.

For the expediency of the angler and potential consumer of the daily market, the Society is hammering hard to open a resort or an eco-camp near the angling spot. They are also planning to introduce river rafting soon.