International Conservation Partnership Creates Fishing History in Remote Mongolia

WWF

International Conservation Partnership Creates Fishing History in Remote Mongolia

Hucho hucho taimen, the world’s largest salmonidae, is making a last stand in northern Mongolia. Local communities, a private fly-fishing outfitter, and WWF have come together to successfully establish the Asian continent’s first “catch and release only” taimen sanctuary, protecting more than two hundred miles of remote mountain rivers for taimen and taimen anglers.
Living in cold clear streams usually reserved for their diminutive trout cousins, taimen can exceed five feet in length and live as long as half-a-century. They once inhabited rivers from Eastern Europe to the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. These freshwater predators have slowly been eliminated from nearly all of their historical range as over-fishing and habitat loss have taken their toll. Now taimen are making their last stand in the pristine rivers and streams of Ghenghis Khan’s remotest Mongolia.
Taimen are renowned for their amazing appetites. Primarily piscavores, taimen will also eat nearly any large prey that dares to venture across the river’s surface. This includes mice, gophers, and even unaware ducklings. For most anglers, the opportunity to visit an exotic, unspoiled landscape and catch one of these voracious predators on a dry fly is a once in a lifetime experience worth traveling halfway around the world to find. Demand for catching taimen may be exactly what saves or destroys this amazing creature in Mongolia. The effort to conserve taimen and taimen habitat in this part of Mongolia started nearly ten years ago when a boutique fly fishing operator, Mongolia River Outfitters, set out to see if a small business really could catalyze conservation. This grassroots initiative has now grown into a conservation partnership between Mongolia River Outfitters, local communities, and WWF’s “Amur-Heilong” project.

Continue reading
0 Comments