Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Water is UP !

High water next to the resort and just off the road
Just aa surfers proclaim "Surf's Up" when the waves are big, the locals around here proclaim "Water's UP" when the local waters rise to a certain level.  The rise in the water means its time for fishing. Now is the time for easy picking for many local fishermen and women.  Now before you go out and grab your fishing poles and come up to the resort, the fishing is not what you would normally expect in more western waters.

For one, nobody I saw this morning was using a fishing pole.  Everyone had throw nets or some version of net trap to get their catch.  And its for good reason, as the fish are only a couple of inches long.  These tiny fish will grow to fingerling size in the big lake and as the storm waters enter, they are washed by the currents and follow the water in the creeks to new ponds in the area.  Each year around this time, huge batches of them make the run to new waters and the choke points is where these fisherman have built platforms to net some of them as they go by.

We have such a choke point about 300 meters down the road from the resort and this morning, every one of the platforms was full of people tossing their nets.  These platforms are private property but during the off season, people can use them with permission for tackle fishing.  Now, its time for the locals to haul in their protein for the next few months and there is no tackle fishing.  Any fish that cannot be eaten now is dried or sold to the local markets.  The locals have learned to live off the land and the big bounty this area has given to them.  We are lucky in that this area of Thailand is still relatively unknown to many Thais and definitely off the beaten track for tourists.

Once the fish get into the various ponds, they eventually end up as big fish and some of them will make their way back to the main lake to spawn and start the whole process again.  B's father was a fisherman for many years and knows these waters like the back of his hand and so he was successful in getting the big fish when others could not.  But for the locals, now is the time for some easy picking fun and small fish are OK as long as there is fish.  I don't know how much better the fishing would be if they let these fish go, but I wager that many of these tiny fish will end up dying anyway as the ponds dry up.  As long as people exist however, they will always be an impact on the food chain and I just hope they don't ruin a really this neat ecosystem in this area.

The little party we had last night for the people who missed their parties (like Marina and I) was fun. It was a great deal of fun for the kids, but I had a hard time managing to keep my eyes open long enough to blow out the candles.  Three more parties are scheduled for the next few weeks as B, Ella, and Gaal all have their birthdays in August.  We just love to party around here...555

Marina with her dreamy smile and Ella looking on at big sister's cake

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