Information collected was divided into three exercises: limnology, fish biology and fish catch statistics.
(a) bathymetric data. (b) monthly sampling for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, transparency, plankton and primary production.
Lakes Phewa, Begnas and Rupa were covered. Lake Rara in the far western region was visited once.
A sample of satellite data (ERTS) was obtained. Simple examination of the slides did not show changes of water quality. It is, however, possible that satellite data could be used with more sophisticated techniques, e.g. computer analysis of the digital data (compare Rochon and Langham, 1975; Henson et al, 1975).
(2) Fish Biology
All catches of the Fishery Section were examined. From as many specimens as possible (mostly all), the following parameters were noted: fork length, weight, girth, gill girth, sex and maturity. From some the stomach/gut contents were also inspected. Incidentally some egg counts were done.
An attempt was made to preserve a few specimens of each species for a reference collection. Scales were sampled of many specimens.
Data about catch methodology and location were also noted, i.e. for all specimens, data are available on the mesh size in which they were caught, etc. The setting of gillnets was fairly haphazard, as the expert had not enough control on the fishermen to direct a true random sampling system.
Gillnets were set every working day. Fishing was done mostly in Lake Phewa and also quite often in Lakes Begnas and Rupa. Occasionally the small lakes (Khaste, Maidi and Deepang) and rivers were fished. Every month a number of gillnets with from 25 to 175 mm mesh was set for three nights in each of the three lakes (Phewa, Begnas, Rupa).
(3) Fish Catch Statistics
a gear survey was made from December 1976 to March 1977 to determine gear owned by fishermen. (b) every month a round of interviews was made asking for the catch for the last three days. Interviews tried to include all Podhe caste fishermen in Pokhara Valley. Information was obtained on fishing locations, fishing methods, species caught, quantity caught, sale price and sale location.
On the basis of the data collected, several papers were prepared as listed in Appendix 1. A summary of the most important findings only will be given here (see para. 3.1 to 3.5).
Fron the time of arrival of the expert until September 1977 his counterpart was Mr. D.B. Swar. His work concentrated on limnology. In September 1977 he left for Canada on a fellowship provided by the project.
Mr. Swar was succeeded by Mr. B.R. Pradhan. His training and interests were more in fish biology.
Both counterparts were also at the same time project co-manager and chief of the Fisheries Section of the Government in Pokhara. This triple role did not stimulate their involvement in the limnology/fishery biology programme.
A total of three assistants were trained in examining fish and collecting catch statistics. Their general working performance was satisfactory. It is hoped that they can continue with this work under supervision of the counterpart staff.
On the arrival of the expert no laboratory facilities were available. Packing crates and the like made a provisional work benoh, for example. In April 1977 work was started on a laboratory office building. This was ready for use in September 1977. The building offers sufficient space, a good laboratory bench with power outlets, etc. A library room is also provided. However, the building might prove unsatisfactory for continuing activities if leakage problems are not attended to.
The laboratory was equipped with fairly simple but, hopefully, sturdy tools: a microscope, a stereoscopic microscope, a toppan balance, a Hachkit for simple chemical analysis and a refrigerator. A bottom grab, water samplers, a small hydrographic winch, a rubber dinghy, a portable echosounder and an oxygen/temperature meter are among the field equipment available. Further items like laboratory glassware, dissecting tools, formalin and specimen jars were obtained.
The library contains some 40 books on limnology and fish biology and related subjects (besides many on fishing gear, aquaculture, boat building, fish processing, etc.) for reference.
A collection of fish indigenous to Nepal was started for reference purposes.