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3.1 Fish Culture

3.11 Need for a Fish Culture Programme

Recent studies by the Iranian Institute of Nutrition of surveys made of the average protein ration obtained by persons in both rural and urban communities of Iran show that the following rural areas are deficient in animal proteins: Khuzestan, East Azerbaijan, Fars, Guilan, Dashte Mishan, Ghashghaii and Kerman. The people of only one of the areas surveyed, West Azarbaijan, received the level of 20 percent animal proteins deemed necessary in the human diet. All urban areas of Khuzestan, East and West Azarbaijan, Fars, Guilan, Kerman and Gorgan were deficient, with Guilan and West Azarbaijan rations containing only 4 and 5 percent animal proteins, respectively. Of particular interest was the fact that both rural and urban Guilan, bordering the Caspian Sea, was among the most deficient in proteins. The consumption of more fish would alleviate this problem.

Article 10 of the Resolutions of the Fishery Seminar held in Teheran in June 1968 proposed that fish breeding centres in inland waters, as well as hatcheries and artificial ponds for propagation of fish, should be established in all convenient urban and rural areas.

The expert was requested to concentrate his efforts on these fish cultural aspects, especially site selection for fish cultural establishments, so that consideration could be given to a programme for enlarging fisheries production in Iran, especially through fish culture.

3.12 Fish Culture Training and Research Centre

There is a great shortage of trained fisheries personnel in Iran. Before any major development can take place in inland fisheries and fish culture it will be necessary to train men to carry out the fisheries work.

It is therefore recommended that a national fish culture training and research centre be established. This centre should be located, if possible, within easy access to a university where laboratory facilities and specialized equipment would be available for certain testing and preparation of chemicals etc. as well as consultative services of the professors in specialized fields such as chemistry and parasitology.

One such site is the Siahrud, south of Rasht, in the Caspian area, adjacent to the grounds for the proposed Agricultural College. Another possible site would be near Isfahan, at Bagh Vahch. Still another consideration is a site on the Jajerud River near Teheran, below the Military Camp along the left bank of the river below Lashgarak, if the land could be acquired. Both warm and cold-water species could be raised at this latter site.

The centre should include a variety of ponds (for brood fish, rearing, stocking, sorting, breeding, etc.), a series of experimental ponds and some concrete ponds for rearing daphnia or other natural foods.

It should also include modern cold storage and deep freeze rooms, rat-proof rooms for storage of feeds and fertilizers, feed mixing rooms, garage and work shops.

Class-rooms, laboratories, library, and aquaria would also be required. Dormitory or living facilities should be provided for a minimum of 15 men. Living facilities may also be required for teaching staff and the station manager.

The centre would serve not only for training but would also be the main station for development of fish culture techniques adapted to Iranian waters, disease control work, feeding and breeding experiments and for tests of species for possible introduction into Iranian waters.

It should also be emphasized that without trained personnel fish culture development will not succeed.

3.13 Selection of Sites for Fish Cultural Establishment

As was indicated in Section 3.11 the expert was requested to concentrate his efforts on fish cultural aspects, especially in site selection for fish cultural establishments.

The expert visited many places in the Caspian Sea, Tabriz, Isfahan and Shiraz areas to locate sites, preferably near villages, where fish culture stations or public fishing ponds or lakes could be built.

However, before such stations or ponds and lakes are built, the expert wishes to re-emphasize the necessity for the construction of a centre where the required experimental work can be carried out and where men can be trained in the techniques of fish culture and management. Without such a centre the prospects for a successful programme appear very slight.

3.131 Fish cultural stations

Sites for fish cultural stations were not difficult to locate, for in many areas new irrigation dams and canals were being built.

A pond fish cultural station should be built where there is sufficient slope for the complete drainage of the ponds. A ditch at least two metres deep should be available for use in getting the water away from the ponds as quickly as possible. In large ponds a slope of as little as 12 inches (30 cm) in 1,000 feet (304 m) will be sufficient for drainage. The maximum depth of water at the lower end of a pond need be only 5 feet (1.5 m), but it should be 1.5 feet (0.46 m) at the upper end to prevent excessive predation by fish-eating birds and the growth of coarse submersed weeds.

With regard to water requirements, a 100-acre (40-hectare) pond station would require 3,000 gallons per minute (191 litres per second) to fill all ponds to an average depth of 3 feet in 22 and half days. If this amount of water is taken from a canal, a 20-inch pipe through the canal bank would be required to deliver this amount of water to an open ditch at a head of 3.3 feet and a velocity of 3.5 feet per second. After the ponds are filled, a volume of approximately one litre per second/hectare will be required at an evaporation rate of 2 cm per day, or a total of 40 l/sec. The loss of water by seepage will not be great if areas with good soils have been selected. After a pond is once filled, only enough water should be added to supply that lost by seepage and evaporation.

If the water supply for a pond station is to be supplied from a canal, the Ministry of Water and Power, as well as the Ministry of Natural Resources, will need to know (i) where the pond station will be built and (ii) how much water will be required.

Top priority sites, chosen by the expert in each of the four areas visited by him, are listed below:

(i) Caspian Sea area:

Siahrud Site: Location: About 18 km south of Rasht and 5 km west of Rasht-Teheran Highway adjacent to the Sangar canal at the Siahrud. This uncleared bush land may already be Government-owned.

This station would be used primarily for raising souf and Sefid mahi for the eventual restocking of these species in the Caspian Sea.

Alternate sites are given in Appendix I with second priority to the Pasikhan River Site, and third priority to a site in the Talar River drainage about 12 km south of Shahi near Bashel supplied by water from the Charur canal, or the Tadjo site farther south. A site in this area could supply village ponds in the Eastern Caspian area and avoid long hauls of fish from the Rasht area.

(ii) Tabriz area:

Nourooz Dam site near Mian-do-Ab.

The Nourooz Irrigation Dam is now under construction on the Zarineh Rud, one of the finest streams in the Tabriz area.

A warm-water fish cultural station near Nourooz Dam could supply fish mainly for stocking village fish ponds in the Tabriz area, and also for rearing souf on other food fishes for the warmer streams. There will no doubt be areas suitable for raising fish on a commercial scale.

(iii) Isfahan area:

Forest Guard Station No. 5. Site at Yazd Abad.

Twenty-three hectares of Government land and a water supply line are available here for the construction of ponds. A layout plan (see Appendix I) has already been drawn up for four one-acre ponds at this site which could be used for producing fish suitable for stocking village fish ponds.

Two much larger areas for fish ponds are located at Bagh-Vahsh and east of Koum Katchali as indicated on the map of the Isfahan area showing the approximate location of irrigation canals from the proposed new Nekoo Abad and Abshar irrigation dams. The canals that will supply these areas have not yet been built.

(iv) Shiraz area:

About 20 km below Darius-Kabir Dam on the Kur River above Marv-dasht and above the Division Point in the new canal is an excellent site for a pond station to be supplied with water from the main canal. Commercial fish ponds could also be developed in this area.

Two rainbow trout Rearing Station Sites also are present in the Shiraz area west of Shiraz on the Kazerun Road. One of these is at Dashg-Arjan, and the other at Chehelcheshmeh. The amount of water available at both sites equals about 100 l/sec., although more water at Chehelcheshmeh might be acquired with a collection system to combine the flows of several springs there. Temperatures were 13.2° and 12°C, respectively.

Trout reared at these sites could be stocked in the Quareh Aghaj, Khatiri Rud, upper Kur and probably other streams to the west of Shiraz.

3.132 Village fish ponds and public fishing lakes

(i) Village Fish Ponds

Village fish ponds and rice paddy ponds may be an efficient way to reduce protein deficiencies of village people in Iran, although the construction of ponds will not be simple in many areas because water is scarce particularly where the sources of water are ghanats. Where there is water in the Caspian plains, use of it has already been made for growing rice.

A village fish pond need not be a large pond. A pond of one-half hectare will produce about 200–400 pounds (91–182 kg) of fish per year, require little attention, and, after filling, very little water. Only that amount required to maintain a constant water level without overflow is needed. For the average small village, a one or 2-hectare (2.5–5 acre) pond will suffice to supply it. When ponds exceed one acre (64 × 64 m or about 4,096 m2) their shorelines should be rip-rapped with stone to prevent excessive erosion of their banks by winds. The depth of water in these ponds need not be greater than 2 m at the deep end, nor should they be less than 0.5 m deep in their upper ends. It should be possible to drain them completely, and the amount of incoming water should be carefully controlled so that, after filling, only enough water enters the pond to replace that lost by evaporation and seepage. No other fish than those stocked should be permitted to enter them.

Village fish ponds could be established at the following places:

(a) Caspian Sea area:

Hashtpar-2 km south of the village (now in rice fields). Source of water: existing canal from the Gorganrud.
Asalem-3 km north of village of Asalem. Source of water: irrigation canal from the Nav Rud. (now in rice fields).
Miandeh-1 km north of village. Water supply from a canal from the Sardabrud. (now in rice fields).
Ghaleh-Gardan (Baldi)-2 km east of Shasavar River, and between the river and the village (now in rice fields).
Khoshkerud-2 km from Khoshkerud, 1 km from Solaymanabad. Supply from canal from the Shir Rud. (now in rice fields).
Chamestan-18 km east of Suldeh. Supply from canal from the Kheshtehesar. Open grazing land. Pond at village of Chamestan.
Amol-1.2 km west of Amol. Supplied by canal from the Heraz River. Several ponds could be built here in the rugged land.
Khorshid-13.2 km north of Neka. A 100-hectare Government owned field could be converted into a very shallow pond. Water supply is from the Neka.
Marzi Kala-At the village either above or below the road; water supply from the Babolsar.

Although these are only a few places that have been specifically located, it should be pointed out that anywhere water can be led into a field, and there is a ditch or drain nearby with a depth of two meters or more, fish ponds can be built. There should also be a continuous flow of water available.

(b) Tabriz area

This area offers little opportunity at present for village fish ponds, but the opportunities may increase rapidly following construction of the Nourooz Irrigation Dam above Mian-do-Ab on the Zarineh Rud and its canal system.

(c) Isfahan area

Three dams on the principal stream of the area, the Zayandeh Rud, will bring many opportunities for the construction of village fish ponds. The Shah Abbas Dam will provide headwater storage for large downstream flows, and the Nekoo Abad irrigation dam above Ishahan and the Abshar dam on the lower edge of the City will provide irrigation diversion canals that will conduct Zayandeh Rud waters in wide circuits to points serveral miles from the river by such villages as Hassan Abad, Ochtorjan, Bagh Vahch, Asghar Abad, Cayart, Doulab, Dideran, Khoulendjan, Bagh Malek, Aminabad, Sia Afohar, Bagh Koumeh, and probably others.

(d) The Shiraz area

Darius Dam, on the Kur River, is a new irrigation dam that will eventually have canals extending for many kilometres about the plains of the Kur River above Marv-Dasht and Persepolis. Except for the main canal to the Division Point and northward across the river, final plans for location of additional canals have not yet been completed.

(ii) Public Fishing Lakes

In the southern United States public fishing lakes range in size from 50 (20 ha) to about 300 acres (120 ha) in area. A 150-acre (60 ha) fertilized lake is expected to produce at least 30,000 pounds (13,636 kg) of fish of edible size per year. The usual practice is to stock them with bluegill (a pan fish) largemouth bass (a carnivorous fish) in a ratio of 10 bluegills for each bass. Fertilized lakes are stocked with fingerling-size fish at the rate of 1,000 bluegills (2,500 per ha) and 100 bass (250 per ha) per acre. Unfertilized ponds are stocked with 500 bluegills and 50 bass to the acre. After the bass have spawned for the first time, the pond is opened for fishing with usually a limit of 15 bluegills and 5 or 8 bass per person per day.

Fishing is done with fishing pole, line and hook usually baited with earthworms, crickets, grasshoppers, etc. Seining, setting of traps, use of hand lines, trot lines, and gill nets are entirely prohibited. No charge is made for fishing, but signed permits are required to fish in the lake. These are issued usually by a single employee (or member of his family) hired by the Government to see that an accurate record is kept of the kinds, number, and weight of fish caught. The lake is enclosed by a fence, and entrance to the lake is from one point only to prevent persons from taking more than their fair share of the fish and to prevent livestock from muddying and polluting the waters. Domestic ducks and geese are also prohibited because they feed over the spawning beds of fish, and fertilize the lake to such an extent that the bottom waters are depleted of oxygen. Few of these lakes exceed 40 ft in maximum depth.

If similar lakes were to be established in Iran, they need not necessarily be stocked with bluegills and black bass, but this is a proven combination and the methods of managing these lakes are well known. The bluegill, though it does not grow to large size, has an excellent flavour and food value. It deserves a try in Iran for other reasons. It is not a very bony fish. It is possible to remove the backbone and nearly all ribs in one stroke, as with trout, and thus is easy to prepare for the table.

The bluegill spawns in ponds from spring until fall. In the southern United States this would be from early May to mid-September. It, therefore, has a recruitment advantage over such species of fish as the common carp, perches, grass carp, etc. It is easy to raise, nests in colonies, and probably most important of all, it is easy to catch. In fact it can even be caught under the ice in winter with almost any kind of bait.

The construction of large public fishing lakes 20 ft or more in depth requires engineering surveys, core drillings of underlying soils at the dam site, engineering design and construction inspections to make certain that the dam is built in such a manner that the dam will not leak or be washed away by a flood.

To this end, two sets of detailed plans for the construction of two public fishing lakes, one in Kentucky and the other in Alabama under approved American specifications, have been furnished the Ministry of Natural Resources. These plans were furnished through the courtesy of Director John S. Gottschalk, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Suitable sites exist in the following areas for the establishment of public fishing lakes.

(a) Caspian Sea area

Only one such site was observed in the Caspian Sea area. This was near the mouth of a small creek 47 km from Sangar canal on the Rasht-Teheran Highway. It was not thoroughly investigated.

(b) Tabriz area

Several possible public fishing lake sites were observed at the following points: (See Appendix I for details)

Minah Village-11.7 km on road to Heris
Maghsoodlu-3.3 km west of Maghsoodlu
Maghsoodlu-Above village where vally narrows. 7.6 km west of Heris
Bari-Ravine to the east of the highway on the Heris-Mehraban road 12.6 km south of Heris, no flowing stream, but large drainage area.
Saray-8.2 km east of Saray on road to Mehraban. No flowing stream, clay soil. Sky pond.
Ziri-Chay-at Ziri. Valley above highway flat with springs at the head of the valley. Water supply is the springfed Ziri-Chay. Not subject to severe floods.
Jourabchay-Valley not subject to severe floods but large flow of water (probably spring water).

These will require further study of their drainage areas and soils.

(c) Isfahan area

No specific places were selected in this area for public fishing lakes.

(d) Shiraz area

Villages are few in this area, but there will undoubtedly be some opportunities for village fish ponds, or for construction of ponds for rearing fish in commercial enterprises as the canal system develops.

For more detail on all the sites mentioned above and other possible sites see Appendix I.

3.14 The Trout and Caspian “Salmon” Programme

3.141 Iran's trout hatcheries

There are two trout hatcheries in Iran: one jointly owned and operated by Dr. M. Motamed and the Government of Iran's Plan Organization, and the privately operated Jajerud.

The Karaj Hatchery “Mahi Sara” above Karaj was built in 1963 on the banks of the Karaj River. Since 1966, its facilities for rearing trout have been considerably expanded. The raceways are supplied with water from the Karaj River, taken will below the Karaj Dam. It has a building for hatching eyed eggs shipped in from outside sources, new food preparation rooms, etc. Since the river water contains silt, the eggs are hatched in clear well water.

The total production of trout at this hatchery in 1967 was about 30 t. Some of the larger trout produced are sold in markets in Teheran. The hatchery also furnishes annually about one million fingerling trout (mostly rainbow) to the Game and Fish Department for its trout stocking programme.

The Jajerud Hatchery, built in 1967 is located on the left bank of the Jajerud River, one of Iran's finest trout streams, a short distance below the Teheran-Chalus highway. This private trout hatchery was built by Hossein Afshar and is now operated by his son Fatan Afshar. There are 20 ha in the hatchery grounds. The hatchery was designed for the hatching of 50 million eggs and for an annual trout production of 10,000 t of trout. It obtains its water supply mainly from the Jajerud River, but springs at the upper end of the hatchery grounds supply clear water which on 12 September 1968 had a temperature of 15°C, while the river and raceways had water temperatures of 16°C at about 10 a.m. River water temperatures in the past was reported to rise to as high as 27°C (80.6°F). The river water temperature immediately below Latian Dam however was 15°C. at 11:45 a.m. on 12 September 1968 and rainbow trout (about 3.5 cm in length) were observed in the tailwaters of the dam.

Extremely high waters in the Jajerud flood plain below the dam in the spring of 1968 did extensive damage to the hatchery which was inadequately protected for such an emergency. Fatan Afshar estimated a loss of six million trout from the hatchery during this flood.

On hand, in the undamaged raceways and hatchery building were 100,000 brood trout, 400,000 brown trout, one million rainbow trout fingerlings and several thousand trout of marketable size which were selling in the Teheran markets for about 150 rials per kilo (U.S.$0.91 per pound).

3.142 Caspian “salmon” hatchery at Bandar Pahlavi

The Government of Iran, Ministry of Natural Resources, at Bandar Pahlavi at its original sturgeon hatchery site on the beach of the Caspian Sea, has a modest and unique layout for the hatching and rearing of young Mahi azad, the so-called Caspian “salmon” (Salmo trutta caspius). Adults are trapped at the mouth of the nearby Shafarud River during the October–November spawning run. The eggs are hatched, in well water cooled to 7°C with a large cooling unit. After rearing to fingerling size, the young fish are planted in the better salmonid streams flowing into the Caspian Sea.

3.143 Trout management programme

Nümann's (1966) stocking recommendation for cold-water mountain streams included, in general, the stocking of brown trout (Salmo trutta) only in the salmonid streams entering the Caspian Sea from the Central Alborz mountains; the stocking of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdnerii) in the streams (Karaj, Jajerud, Zayandeh Rud, Kur, etc.) flowing into the Central Desert Area, and the stocking of rainbow trout in several of the mountain streams flowing into the Persian Gulf.

Fish management recommendations have been made for the following river impoundments:

ReservoirFishery Biologist
KarajVladykov (1964); Nümann (1963, 1966)
SefidrudNümann (1966)
LatianNümann (1966)
Dez LakeNümann (1966)

Karaj, Sefidrud, Latian and Dez Lake have been stocked with rainbow trout.

Other species recommended by Nümann (1963, 1966) for stocking in these reservoirs have been souf in Sefidrud and Dez Reservoirs; Caspian “salmon” and lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Karaj Reservoir; white fish (Coregonus), smelt (Osmerus), the dace (Phoxinus phoxinus) and tilapia (Tilapia spp) in Sefidrud, and dace and tilapia in Dez Reservoir.

According to Firouz (1968), rainbow trout have been stocked in 13 rivers and three lakes of Iran. In the Jajerud, Doogh, Namrud, Zayandeh Rud and Karoon, and in one lake (Mohammad Reza Shah Lake above Dez dam) no species of salmonids existed previously.

He pointed out that as recently as eight years ago, the fish in the Lar and Karaj Rivers were almost exterminated by groups of professional fishermen who fished the year around with nets, chemicals, and explosives. Following the formation of a Game council the employment of wardens and passage of laws regulating seasons for fishing and the taking of fish, trout fishing improved rapidly to the point where in 1967, 50,000 brown trout were estimated to have been caught by sport fishermen from the Lar River alone (Firouz, 1968). During 1967 also, the Game and Fish Department issued 3,400 permits for fishing in the Lar and Karaj River.

Since the mountain streams of Iran constitute its present inland waters for the most part, and in line with the objectives of the current project, the expert suggests the application of the following basic principles to the management of Iran's trout waters.

The stocking of fingerling trout in streams except to introduce a new species or to replace fish lost in a disaster is futile. Burns and Calhoun (1966) state: “The evidence supporting this stand is so substantial that the question is not open to dispute, from a technical standpoint”. However, Iran has many miles of roadside streams that could be stocked with trout of “legal” or “catchable” size, i.e., trout large enough to put in the frying pan, and from which a high survival to the angler might be expected if the intensity of angling were high. A few of these that the expert has seen are the Chalus, the Lar-Heraz, the Shahrud, the Basmenj, Ziri-Chay, Aghlaghan Chay, the Zayandeh Rud and the Quareh Aghaj.

The economics of stocking fingerling trout versus catchable-size trout is about as follows in the United States. Several studies in California have shown that the return to the angler of edible-size fish is only 2.4 percent of the fingerlings stocked. At 1.8 US cents (less than 1.3 rials) per fingerling, the total cost becomes 74 US cents (55 rials) to put a trout in the creel. For catchable-size trout the cost of raising is 16.5 US cents (12 rials) and at a return rate of 70 percent the total cost per fish is 24 US cents (19 rials) or about one-third the cost of fingerling returns.

To obtain some idea of the enthusiasm that can be engendered in sportsmen to fish streams that they know contain a considerable number of “catchable” trout, the reader is referred to a paper by Peery (1967) that describes the number of trout stocked and taken in 3.5 miles of Tumbling Creek in the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Virginia, U.S.A. Here, a total of 71,206 catchable trout were stocked at a cost of 26 cents per pound. Permits, each costing US$1.00 were issued to 22,632 fishermen in 1967 who caught 55,500 trout or 78 percent of those stocked.

The expert emphasizes the desirability for the Government of Iran to have its own trout hatcheries. Good trout fishing can not only augment the food supply, but it can be a tremendous tourist attraction to the country.

Such beautiful streams as the Shafarud, Shahsavar, Chalus, Heraz, Lar and Karaj should be given the maximum attention to see that their watersheds are protected from excessive erosion and that their flows are not entirely captured for agricultural and industrial purposes. They can be an economic asset greater to the public than any industry located on their banks. Iran already has an erosion control programme underway in the watersheds of some of its finest streams with emphasis upon the control of grazing by sheep and goats, so numerous in Iran.

3.15 Fish Species Recommended for Rearing and Stocking of Inland Warm-Waters

The souf, sefid maki and korpur are the principal local species to be considered for warm-water pond fish culture in Iran.

Souf. This is unquestionably a species that should be raised in large numbers in warm-water ponds throughout Iran. They can be used for stocking the lower warmer reaches of the larger streams, for example, the lower Zayandeh Rud above and below Isfahan, the lower Zarineh Rud above Miandoab, the Kur River near Marv-dasht, and many other streams including those flowing into the Mordab and some of those flowing into the Caspian Sea. They can also be stocked in reservoirs where the water temperatures reach their spawning temperature of 12°C. or more, but should not be stocked in reservoirs where temperatures are favourable for trout.

Sefid mahi. The hatching of this species in jars and baskets placed in streams is still in an experimental stage. With improved success in hatching, the young fish can be stocked in ponds built in the Caspian area from which they eventually can be liberated into the streams tributary to the Caspian Sea or directly into it near the mouths of rivers.

Korpur. According to one Iranian ichthyologist, korpur is not a popular food fish in Iran, but it is a species that can be considered for rearing in rice fields in the Caspian area. In the expert's opinion it should not be introduced into rivers distant from the Caspian Sea where they may compete with more desirable fishes such as souf and Sefid mahi.

In view of the scarcity of cultivable fish, the expert suggests the possibility of introducing some exotic species. However, before any widespread stocking is done, these species should be carefully tested in the national fish culture experiment station. Species that might be tried are discussed below.

Tilapia. Two species are recommended for culture: Tilapia mossambica and T. nilotica. The male T. mossambica X female T. nilotica hybrids can be used for stocking rice field ponds. Either species might be used in combination with largemouth black bass (Micropterus salmoides) or with souf for stocking village fish ponds although the combinations need experimental testing.

Sunfish and black bass. The bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and largemouth black bass fingerlings carefully stocked in public fishing lakes and village ponds in a ratio of 10:1 often require little attention thereafter for some years. They may, therefore, deserve attention in a country where there are very few fish culturists as well as a shortage of water.

Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). This species can be reared for biological control of aquatic weeds in such areas as the Mordab at Bandar Pahlavi, Lake Lapoo north of Neka, Lake Ghoorhygol east of Tabriz, and probably a number of lakes not visited by the expert.

3.16 Opportunities for the Culture of Fish in Rice Fields

Rice fields occur in two principal areas in Iran, the Caspian Sea plains and the Persian Gulf area. The expert made extensive excursions into the Caspian plains, but did not visit the Khuzestan area. Only one rice crop per year is grown in the Caspian area, but it is possible to grow two crops of rice per year near the Persian Gulf.

Areas suitable for carrying out experiments in rice field fish culture are described in Appendix II.

It is suggested that the Ministry of Natural Resources provide the leadership, and equipment needed to show rice growers in the following areas of the Caspian plains how to construct (or modify) their rice fields so fish as well as rice can be raised in them.

3.2 Investigations of the Inland Fresh Waters

The inland freshwaters of Iran consist primarily of freshwater streams, impoundments on them, and a few scattered freshwater lakes, such as Ghoorhygol Lake near Tabriz, the Mordab at Bandar Pahlavi, and Parishan Lake near Kazeroon. It has been estimated that 300 streams flow down from the mountains into the Iranian portion of the Caspian Sea alone.

3.21 Water Analysis

The salinity of the Caspian Sea is about 12.9 parts per thousand, or about 37 percent of sea water (35.0 parts per thousand). Although this low salinity permits a number of freshwater fishes to live here the Caspian Sea can not be classed as a freshwater lake.

Streams cold enough in their headwaters for trout occur in the Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz and Khuzestan areas. Many of these have been visited during reconnaissance surveys by Nümann (1963, 1964, 1966), Nümann and Hosseinzadeh (1968), Armantrout (1966, 1967, 1968), and Armantrout and Hosseinzadeh (1967a, b, c). These stream surveys have been carried out by the Game and Fish Department.

During visits to most of the important streams of Iran Nümann and Hosseinzadeh recorded temperatures, hardness, dissolved oxygen content, oxygen demand and information on the species of fish present. The general nature of the streams at specific points and elevations in their courses was also described. The reports contained recommendations on the species of fish to stock in the streams visited.

The expert and his counterpart visited many streams in Iran in a search for sites for fish cultural stations and village fish ponds. Water analyses, as part of a counterpart training programme and to obtain some knowledge of the hardness of waters that might be used for pond supplies, were made in all areas visited.

The total alkalinity of water represents its content of the bicarbonates and carbonates and hydroxides of calcium, magnesium, sodium and other metals. The calcium-magnesium hardness represents its content of calcium and magnesium ions.

The following is a scale of total hardness in milligrams per litre with terms denoting the degree of hardness:

          0Free from
  0 – 15Very soft
  51 – 100Relatively soft
101 – 200Moderately hard
201 – 400Relatively hard
401 – 800Very hard
801 +        Extremely hard

These criteria are important to the fish culturist for they influence the kind of fertilizer used in ponds and the effectiveness of chemicals used in treatments for control of nuisance plant growths and fish diseases.

The results of the analyses of streams, lakes, reservoirs and springs in the Caspian, Tabriz, Isfahan and Shiraz areas are given in Appendix III.

3.22 Bottom Fauna Studies in Streams

A quantitative stream bottom sampler of the type originally described by Surber (1936) was used in these studies. The brass frames of the sampler were made 33 cm × 33 cm square. Each sample represents one ninth of a square meter, therefore the number of animals found times 9 equals the number of animals per square meter at a given station.

In America, this type of sampler is often used to determine the effects of pollution on the bottom fauna in stream by taking samples above and below sources of pollution. Aquatic insects require from six weeks to one year or more to complete their life histories. Generally mayflies, stoneflies, and caddiflies are very sensitive to pollution and their absence from a stream is highly indicative of injurious pollution.

The use of this sampler was demonstrated to the expert's counterpart. The results of a few samples taken in a few well-known Caspian area streams are given in Table I.

3.3 Water Quality Control

3.31 Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Fish and Other Aquatic Life in Iran

Iran, now in an era of industrial expansion, may soon be expected to have many water pollution problems.

The Ministry of Water and Power and the Ministry of Natural Resources have joint responsibility for water pollution control and before any new industry using water can be built, prior approval must be obtained from these agencies.

Water quality criteria for the protection of fish and other aquatic life are needed as guidelines to new industries so they may know the degree of treatment required to enable fish and other aquatic life not only to survive but to grow and reproduce satisfactorily in the affected waters.

At the request of the Ministry of Natural Resources, water quality criteria for the protection of fish and other aquatic life in Iran were prepared for translation into Farsi. These criteria are presented in Appendix IV.

3.32 Training in Bioassay Methods

The expert's counterpart was instructed in the American standard methods of conducting both static and continuous bioassays with fish. He was also furnished a copy of “Bioassays to Evaluate Toxicity to Fish”, the latest revision of American Standard Methods.


Bottom Fauna of Some Caspian Streams Number of Organisms per Square Metre

Kind of AnimalPolerud near RahimabadShahsavar near Ghaleh GardanShahrud near Cement PlantLar River PoloorHeraz River 15.7 km below Poloor
9 Oct. 689 Oct. 6810 Oct. 6824 Oct. 6824 Oct. 68
Aquatic Earthworms (Lumbriculidae?)           9
Mayflies (Ephemeroptera)     
  63  594 378   18 2,034
  45  324   63  189   603
Oligoneuris rhenana
Cloeon dipterum
Stoneflies (Plecoptera)     
  36    36     63     18
Caddisflies (Trichoptera)     
  27    99  207   585 
    9       45
Glossosoma sp.
Crustacea (Gammaridae)      9   
Isopoda (Asellidae)
Dragaon flies and Damsel flies (Odonata)     
Aquatic beetles (Elmidae)     
         27   279
Flies (Diptera)     
Simulidae larvae
     99       9    36
       9     72    63
        9     9
       9      9     18 
      18     36 
Total Number per m21801,2871,5211,0263,177

3.4 Need for a Department of Fisheries

Three Government agencies are concerned with the fisheries of Iran.

(i) Ministry of Natural Resources

The Sherkat Shilat Co., (Northern Fisheries) was originally organized in January 1953 with exclusive fishing rights for all species of sturgeon and other fishes in the Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea. From 1953 to 1967, Northern Fisheries was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance. It became a part of the Ministry of Natural Resources in late 1967 when the latter agency was created.

(ii) The Southern Fisheries Company (Shilat Jonoub)

This is an independent Government agency with control of the fisheries of the Persian Gulf. The organization of the Southern Fisheries Company, its Fishery Centres in the Persian Gulf area, and its fishing operations were described by Andersskog (1968).

(iii) Game and Fish Department

The Game and Fish Department, formed in 1961, originated as a game council, originally supported by sportsmen who wished to bring about better protection of fish and wildlife. It became a legally constituted body of the Government by an Act of Parliament in June 1967 (Khordad 23, 1346). The Director of the Game and Fish Department is also Secretary of the High Council for the Protection of Fish and Wildlife appointed by His Imperial Majesty, the Shahanshah.

The Game and Fish Department has jurisdiction over the sport fisheries of Iran and is concerned with the stocking and the management of sport fish in the streams, lakes and reservoirs of the country. It has a section of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, and a warden force for protection of sport fish and other wildlife.

The streams and the reservoirs of the country can be stocked with food or sport fish or both. Some of them cannot be managed for both. One problem is, where does one agency's fishery research and management activity begin and that of others end? The souf (Stizostedion lucioperca) for example, could be considered a sport fish or a food fish, so coordination in the nation's inland fisheries programme is very desirable.

The expert strongly recommends that all fisheries agencies in Iran be joined in a Department of Fisheries.

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