Photos: Traditional shadow fishing in Kashmir’s Anchar Lake

Srinagar:  The traditional form of fishing in Kashmir known as “Tchaai Gaad” (Shadow Fishing) is a local technique of Kashmiri fisherman to catch fishes in the waters of Kashmir especially in Anchar Lake in the Soura area of Srinagar city.

“It is a technique where we hide under a thick blanket on the nook of a wooden boat, which helps us in creating a shadow on the part of the water and attracts fishes towards that shadow and later on catch them,” says Manzoor Ahmad who has been catching fishes on the Anchar Lake from last 10 years.

This old technique of catching fish from the water bodies like Anchar lake comes very handily for the fish catchers especially during the winters when most of the locals prefer to cook fish in the severe harsh winter.

“We go for shadow fishing in the waters and wait for hours to get the catch because if fetches us good money during the winter months in the markets of Kashmir,” says Bilal Ahmad who has been regularly going for the catch in the Anchar Lake during these winter days.

The old techniques are still in the currency in the water bodies of Kashmir as the modern methods do not fetch them bulk fish from these waters especially during winters.

“During winters in the water bodies like Anchar lake, fish remain beneath the water surface and does not come for any feeding to the upper surface due to cold. This hundred-year-old technique of shadow fishing helps us to make our earning by catching them by this old trick,” said Ali Mohammad (60) who has been teaching this technique to the younger generations.