The Fishing Opening Festival of Erhai Lake in Dali

This year, no big governmental event or ceremony for Er’hai Lake Fishing Festival was organised. But fishing in the lake had begun since middle August, which means visitors to Dali now can watch locals fish when travelling to some villages ashore. From generation to generation, most of the Bai people living by the Er’hai Lake have survived on fishing.

Er’hai Lake abounds in fishery resources such as fish, decapod, and shellfish. Among the native fishes, the locally called “Gongyu fish” (Latin name: Schizothorax taliensis) is most famous and valuable.

The fish-rich plateau lake has also been under protection of the local government–which enacts a piscatory closure each year. Normally, before given back to the fisherfolk, the lake has to undergo a sacrificial ceremony–the purpose of which is very simple: pray for favourable climate and a well-off life.

Be there, and you’ll find the locals have kept the traditional ways of fishing: both by nets and cormorants.

*Travel Route: Kunming–Chuxiong–Dali

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