Srinagar: After reports that fish are in distress and are coming to the surface from Nawakadal to Chattabal on Sunday, preliminary report ordered into the incident has revealed that it was because lack of oxygen in water column caused by higher pollution and low rainfall.
Following the incident, water and fish samples were taken by the district administration to ascertain the reason behind the incident. A technical team under the supervision of assistant director fisheries Srinagar was also deputed to the area to ascertain the cause.
“As the running water volume of river Jhelum is reduced at this time because there were no rains and also nutrient/ pollutant concentration is very high, which has already affected the amount of dissolved oxygen,” the report said.
On Monday, Director Fisheries RN Pandita along with joint director fishers Kashmir division visited the area and said that fish were in distress and that why they were coming on surface. They also took samples of fish and water for detailed physio-chemical analysis.
“The observation regarding low oxygen level was supported by the fact that the, mostly big sized Schizothorax SPP (Kashir Gaad) was showing such distress. The fish fauna of river Jhelum mostly constitute of two species of fish that are Common Caro (Punjaib Gaad) and Schizothorax SPP (Kashir Gaad), out of which Schizothorax being very sensitive to low oxygen level and common carp can sustain low oxygen levels,” the on-spot observation of the department said.
It said that the fact of depletion of oxygen level was also supported by the observations that common carp has not suffered such distress or mortality. “Thus, it is ample clear that distress was due to low oxygen and stress of fish occurred due to asphyxia. Further physical examinations of gills and general body condition of samples rule out any sort of use poisonous substance,” it said.
The gauge, report said, at the Dubjee Gow Kadal was raised and water was released towards river Jhelum. “The water in the Chinar Bagh area at this period of the year remains usually stagnant and lot of pollution occurs in it. Such release of water at this stage juncture has resulted in further complicating the problem as well as the pollutants were washed off and got mixed with the water which in turn resulted in increase in organic load and depletion of oxygen level,” it said.
Following the report findings, administration has ordered the opening of water gate at Weir Chattabal which will allow the flow of more fresh water from upper Jhelum and dilute the nutrient load of the river. “This has eased the situation and (on Monday morning) situation was normal.” It said.