In the News

April 2006
"Fishing for Enlightenment"

November 2005
"In the Kingdom of Eternal Blue Heaven"

May 19, 2005
"Mongolia’s environment undermined by gold fever"

May 2005
"Solar salmon saving in Mongolia"

April 25, 2005
"Fish and faith fuel Mongolian ecology project"

March 25, 2005
"From Madison to Mongolia: the Crusade for a Giant Fish"

October 8, 2004
"Mongolian Monks take up New Cause: Saving Wild Salmon"

August 19, 2004
"Can Angling Save World's Largest Salmon?"

Taimen Conservation

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Nevada-Reno, and the University of California-Davis, and the Mongolian Institute of Geoecology have partnered as a research team in a conservation effort to sustainably protect Mongolia's giant salmonid, Hucho taimen, through operation of fishing concessions. This 5-year program will be the most extensive study of Hucho taimen ever conducted. The study will assess population status, migrations, threats to populations, and the role of taimen as a part of the broader ecosystem. Information produced by the science team will be used to develop a natural resource management plan for the region.

This project is designed to assist in the development of ecotourism based on catch and release fly-fishing in the Eg-Uur (EUWA) river system in northern Mongolia. Taimen populations ranged across much of Mongolia and Siberia, but have undergone massive declines due to habitat loss, pollution, and overfishing. The Eg-Uur watershed in northern Mongolia has been identified as among the most healthy remaining taimen populations in the Lake Baikal basin. Not only does the EUWA contain globally significant biodiversity, but it also provides a unique opportunity to protect this population from destructive exploitation, while developing a sustainable economy based on this potentially valuable resource. Our science will evaluate the sustainability and effectiveness of this innovative resource management approach. Furthermore, we will assess how, and under what conditions this approach can serve as a model for resource development projects elsewhere.

Biologist Zeb Hogan, Monk Gantulga and Fishing Outfitter, Dan Vermillion partner to save taimen

The initiative is led by the Taimen Conservation Fund (TCF), a Mongolian organization that was established with the express aim of protecting the natural resources of the Eg-Uur watershed. TCF uses three science-based strategies: locally managed conservation, fishing concessions, and outreach, to protect taimen and associated ecosystems. In addition to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Nevada-Reno, and the University of California-Davis, other project partners include The Tributary Fund, the US-registered sister organization of TCF, and Sweetwater/Hovsgol Travel, an American-Mongolian business partnership that has been organizing fly-fishing trips in the Hovsgol region since 1996. The project is financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the World Bank Development Marketplace.

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