Mahseer fish are found in every province throughout Pakistan in semi cold fresh water. It is also known as the “King of Swat”. Pakistan is an excellent place to find Mahseer. It is the national fish of Pakistan. Mahseer, also known as the Himalayan Mahasher or Golden Mahasher, are commercially important game fish as well as high valued food fish in Pakistan. Pakistan has one of the best freshwater fishing experiences available in the world for Mahseer. Mahseers have been of considerable importance because of their large size, high commercial value, golden look and longer shelf life of the local fishermen in Pakistan.
Mahseer is frequently found in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rivers of Swat, Panjkora, Indus, Siran and Kunhar. Recent studies, however, indicate that its population reduced from most parts of the country due to various means like habitat loss, illegal fishing, water pollution and construction of Hydel schemes. To re-establish the population of this migratory fish in natural water bodies, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have established Mahseer Fish Hatchery at Thana Malakand, where this fish is artificially bred to produce its progeny, that are regularly stocked in river swat and panjkora.
In this regard, in the ongoing year, Mahseer fish breeding was performed in Mahseer fish Hatchery at Thana Malakand on 5th September 2016. The weight of female fish range from 800-870 gram. The eggs of seven female Mahseer brooders were fertilized with sperm/milt of seven male Mahseer. Approximately 12000 eggs were produced with a fecundity rate of 2500 eggs/ female. Hatching of eggs were observed on 4th day. The newly born hatchlings were shifted to troughs, where these were kept for 8 days. After these early fries are shifted to a small raceway, where these are feeding with 40 % protein feed till releasing in natural water bodies as part of replenishment programme of Fisheries department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Early fries of Mahseer fish in circular tanks
Mahseer brooder fish
Hatchling of mahseer fish in Troughs