Nam Ton mainstream and its tributaries

In full cooperation with local villagers it may be advantageous to reduce fishing pressure in the lower reaches of the Nam Ton particularly around the confluence area with the Mekong during the time of upstream and downstream fish migrations. There is no question of imposing a ban, but perhaps this issue could be addressed in a different way such as one or two “no fishing” nights per week or limiting the numbers of nets set per night.

Where access roads have been built, every attempt should be made to place road culverts at sites that allow small fish to follow historical migration routes. This allows them to spawn in rice fields and other habitats after their upstream migration and their return back downstream again on their return migration.

Dry season Fishery Conservation Zones (FCZs) should be encouraged wherever possible providing that this does not make finding food too difficult. Simple signs placed above forest pools where water is deeper and requesting people not to fish there may be quite effective. This works particularly well if brush wood and branches are placed in the pools. It is not necessary to impose fines for fishing in these places, but more a case of asking for people’s cooperation.

Any method used to prevent surface soils washing into streams should be encouraged. This might include planting riparian vegetation and shoring up banks with large stones or both.

Obviously great care needs to be taken with pesticide and herbicide use.

All forms of illegal fishing should obviously be monitored.

Perhaps something akin to a Nam Ton Fishery Protection and Conservation Group (NTFPCG) could be established at Kum Ban level to monitor fishing activities and conservation issues.