Fishing Contest to Target Exotic Species

A group of 40 expert anglers will gather at Lotus Pond (蓮池潭) in Kaohsiung City this Sunday, March 19, to compete in a lure fishing contest targeting invasive predatory species including the giant snakehead.

Kaohsiung City Council members Chen Mei-juan (陳玫娟) and Qiu Jun-xian (邱俊憲) told reporters that exotic species had become a serious problem in the lake, requiring a considerable expenditure of manpower and resources. Invasive species include jaguar fish (Cichlasoma managuense), Amazon Peacock Bass (Cichla ocellaris), red devil cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus), snakehead (Channa spp.), and the Australian red-claw crayfish.

The council members pointed out that a similar competition had been held in October last year, and the results were not insignificant. This time, 40 expert anglers from all over the country will take to 25 small boats to participate in the competition.

The exotic species are voracious predators, therefore using lures is an effective method of catching them without affecting water quality. Lures can be used over and over again, and constitute an environmentally-friendly form of fishing, the councilors said.

The two council members hope that the event can grow into an international competition to be held at the lake.

Lotus Pond, an artificial lake, was the site of various water sports when the World Games were held in Kaohsiung in 2009. Events on the lake included canoe polo, water skiing, and dragon boat races.

Amazon Peacock Bass caught in Taiwan
An Amazon Peacock Bass caught near Kenting, Taiwan. Picture: http://panaque77.pixnet.net
Red devil cichlid caught in Taiwan
A red devil cichlid caught southern Taiwan. Picture: Pingtung Ah Di
giant snakehead, or toman, caught in Taiwan
A snakehead, or toman, caught in southern Taiwan. Picture: Taiwan Angler.

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