After a 19- hour bus ride from Ulaanbaatar I am finally in Khovsgol Aimag. It has been a very productive week; we hit the ground running and were able to meet with the Khovsgol Aimag Minister of Nature, Environment and Tourism, who fully endorsed and supported our taimen conservation plan. The official name of the conservation campaign is “Spirit of the River.” With the Minister’s endorsement we proceeded to the Aimag Governor where we met with him and received his endorsement and approval as well.
Our final stop was the Moron Airport Administrator who gave us permission to set up a booth and distribute our Taimen Conservation information. During the meeting at the airport I had the first opportunity to hand out our material to a group of Russian spin-fishermen. We were not very well received – icy is the adjective I am looking for. Just goes to show that we have a long, uphill climb ahead of us.
Today we held the first Khovsgol Aimag taimen conservation meeting 26km outside of Moron on the Delger Moron River. We had a good turnout of local fisherman and local herders. Much thanks to the Onon River fishing club for travelling half-way across Mongolia to share their amazing story. The best part of the meeting was that I hardly had to say a word. This was a meeting led by Mongolians for Mongolians, and it is great to see the enthusiasm for conservation that did not exist even two years ago. Everyone was amazed at the radio tagging kits that were provided by Trout Headwaters Inc. There were some questions among the locals about whether we would be watching the fish with satellites. We gave fly-fishing demonstrations and everyone was really interested and were eager to give it a try. Now that all the meetings are finished for a bit, there is nothing left to do but go fish.
We leave for a nine-day tagging float trip starting tomorrow morning.
This series follows University of Montana graduate student Dan Bailey as he travels the wilds of Mongolia to survey and tag Taimen, the world’s largest trout. From the team’s remote field camp, Dan is posting to the Club EcoBlu blog as he assists with the Taimen Conservation Project this summer. Taimen are highly endangered, have been known to grow to 6-ft long and more than 200 lbs. The information gathered will aid in drafting a conservation plan to protect this megafish. Trout Headwaters, Inc. is a sponsor of the project.Tweet