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Fauna & Flora - Ecology - Eco Systems - Fishing - National Parks
 
  Fishing  
     
  Amazon Basin  
 
 
  Amazon Brazil has an area of 8.5 million km2 (3.28 square miles), comprising great part of the largest hydrographic basin in the world, made up of the Amazon river {the largest and most voluminous, 6,500km (4039 miles) long, and average annual discharge of 175.000m3/second] and its tributaries, bathing an area of approximately 5 million km2 (2.54 square miles). As for biodiversity, the Amazon region is the richest in the globe, regarding both animal and plant species, garnering some 2/3 of the existing species. As far as the number of fresh water species is concerned, if is the richest basin in the world, holding some 1300 reported species. The systematists {scientists who name the species) believe that, should identification works be extended, such figure might go up to the amazing number of 3,000 species. The origin, conformation, extension, availability of resources, volume of river waters and the diversity of habitats, grant the Amazon basin an outstanding position concerning the abundance and diversity of fish species. Within the main groups (Characins and Silurids) there are many different types to be caught, such as scale and hide fish. Sioli, a researcher, published a study in 1951 , differentiating three basic river Types in Amazonia, particularly regarding the color, composition, pH and internal productivity. Such types are formed according to source location and the regions they cut through on their way to the Amazon. The number and types of fish species vary according to the type of water, which may occur even in nearby places, sometimes only a few kilometers away. Such is due to the different adaptations and to the physiologic capacity of the species organ- ism in frequenting such diversified environments. White Water Rivers Those originating in the Andean and pre-Andean regions, with a high load of mineral sediments {such as gold), and that become much enlarged during the rainy season. They are rich in nutrient salts, and this is the kind that presents the largest internal primary productivity {phyto and zooplankton autochthon], particularly in lagoon still water stretches and flooded areas. The pH presents close to neutrality ranges [pH = 7.0], varying from slightly acid to alkaline. The Solimoes and the Madeira rivers are examples of white water rivers. Dark Water Rivers These are dark water rivers on account of the large amount of humic and fulminic acids that they acquire as they cross large forested extensions. The pH is very acid, usually below 5.0, which limits the types of fish inhabiting these waters. The amount of sediments in suspension and its internal productivity is extremely low. Food chains that get settled along these rivers are specially located in the forest, which provides the river with allochthonous [external] material. An interesting fact about this kind of water is that it does not hold a large number of mosquitoes. A typical example would be the river Negro, the main tributary of the Amazon river. Clear Water Rivers Made up of rivers which originate in the Brazilian shield of typical very old and leached [eroded] terrain, dating from the pre-Cambrian era [over 600 million years old]. The waters show high transparency rates of variable pH, depending on the site and season of the year. The amount of nutrients and solids in suspension vary during the year, higher in the rainy season, from November to April. Fishing in these waters is very exciting, since many times it is possible to watch the fish attacking the artificial lures on the surface. The main rivers that make up the basin are: Negro, Tocantins, Xingu, Tapajós, Juruá, Purus, Branco, Trombetas, Uatumã, Araguaia, Juruena. The more usual sport species are' Apapá, Aruanã, Bicuda, Cachara, Cachorro-Iarga, Dorado, Jaú, Jatuarana, Jurupoca, Matrinxã, Pacu, Pescada-do Piauí, Piraíba, Piranha, Pirarara, Tambaqui, Trairão, Tucunaré {Peacock Bass).

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  River Plate Basin  
 
 
 

The River Plate basin is the second largest in South America. It is made up of the Paraguay and Parana rivers that jointly drain an area equivalent to 10.5% of the Brazilian territory, with a total area of 3.2 million km2( 1.23 square miles). The rivers of this basin cross the land of four countries on their way to the river mouth: Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay. These days the basin has been modified given the development of large urban centers and areas where intense agricultural activity is carried out. The original riverbed has been very much altered, specially on account of the building of sever- al dams, generators of electric power [concentrated in the river Paraná and its tributaries] which, according to Eletronorte data, from 1991, generate about 70% of the Country's hydroelectric power. Such modifications bring about alterations to the distribution of species, as the outcome of rupture of natural dams, changes to the environment in addition to the introduction of non-native species, particularly the predator ones, which interfere with the food chains and local fauna composition. Nevertheless, one can still carry out excellent fishing, particularly in less altered sites, such as the Pantanal do Mato Grosso. Currently 550 fish species are recognized in the River Plate basin, quite similar to the Amazon basin. The high stretches of the major basin formers are different from the flooded stretches, perennial' and temporary marginal lagoons that are formed in the rainy season [November through April]. Ichthyofauna varies a great deal according to the environment, sometimes from nearby places, totally at random. The occupation of different environments is determined by physiological adaptations, species resistance. and demand concerning environmental factors such as: dissolved oxygen, temperature, food availability, water level and age.

The main rivers are: Paraibuna, Grande, Tiete, Paranapanema, Paraná, Paraguay, Iguaçu, Teles Pires, Cuiabá, Taquari and Coxim. Several fish species make up a group of brave fighters, among which the following stand out Barbado, Cachara, Curimbatá, Dorado, Pacu, Pescada-do Piaui, Piapara, Pintado, Piraputanga, Traira, Tucunaré (Peacock Bass)

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  San Francisco Basin  
 
 
 

The São Francisco basin is the third largest in the Brazilian territory. Its source is located in the State of Minas Gerais and runs among the water dividers formed by the Espinhaço and Espigão Mestre mountain ranges, towards its mouth between the States of Sergipe and Alagoas in the Northeast. It is the only fully Brazilian basin since it originates in our territory and exclusively runs through Brazilian land. The source of the São Francisco river is in the Canastra mountain range, state of Minas Gerais and its waters cross the states of Bahia, Alagoas, Sergipe and Pernambuco. Its channel is located in the depression of the São Francisco river, between the crystalline terrain to the east {Espinhaço mountain range, Chapada Diamantina and Planalto Nordestino}, and the sedimentary plateau of the Espigão Mestre to the west, setting differences as for the types of water of the tributaries of these two margins. The rivers originating in the crystalline terrain have clear waters, while those of the sedimentary areas carry a larger amount of solids in suspention. It drains an area of approximately 670,000 km2 (260 square miles} after running through 3,161 km (2.000 miles} from the source to the mouth. no Chico (Uncle Chico}, as it is known by dwellers of its margins, is also dubbed the "Brazilian Nile" since it sets down rich alluvions in its middle stretch during the flood season. It has a smaller declivity and few geographic obstacles, such as the stony areas, enabling an easy and calm navigation apart from broad areas for planting. In its course there are a few level differences and water falls, such as those of Pirapora, Sobradinho, Itaparica and Paulo Afonso which favored the building of dams to produce hydroelectric power. The Tres Marias, Paulo Afonso and Sobradinho dams are the best examples. Its fauna, comprising 130 reported species, is similar to that of the Amazon and River Plate basins, with endemic [exclusive] species, such as the Dorado species and others of broader distribution, found in other basins.

Some fish that are common to both basins such as the Piapara, Matrinxã and the Curimbatás, puzzle the scientists who try to discover the origin of a great part of the species that make up the rich Brazilian fauna. In its waters, the amateur fishermen manage to capture sport species such as the Curimbatá, Dorado, Pintado, Piapara, Piau, Peixe-Cachorro, Traíra, Piranha and the Tucunaré (Peacock Bass), that was introduced in the Amazon basin. A quite interesting fact is that the Dorado found in this basin is the Salminus brasiliensis, a species similar to the one found in the River Plate basin, although slightly bigger, which may attain 30 kg (66 Ib.) and grow to 1.5 m (4.9 ft). It is caught in a similar way to its Pantanal cousin, on natural lures of fish such as Tuviras and artificial lures imitating small fish [particularly spoons and shallow running plugs]. The Pintados of the São Francisco river are known for their size which may surpass 100 kilos (220 Ib.). The possibility of catching individuals heavier than 80 kg (176 Ib.) even today is quite interesting, when stocks are subject to intense fishing. However, fish of this size are not very usual. In the dams and reservoirs, some species such as the Curimbatás, Piaus, Piaparas and the Tucunaré (Peacock Bass) have succeeded in adapting to the new environment. Such fish provide moments of good fight with anglers who intend to capture them.

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  License  
 
 
 

The Fishing License is mandatory for both amateur and professional fishermen, be it in inland waters, rivers, streams, dams and lakes, or the sea. At any of IBAMA's regional superintendence, the angler is able to get his DUA [Single Payment Document] and instructions on how to fill it out. This slip is available at the Banco do Brasil branches and at a few stores that sell fishing articles. However, as a limited number of slips is provided by IBAMA, it is worth to confirm by phone if DUA is available at such places. Amateur fishing is divided into 2 categories, according to Government Rule n. 1.583 / IBAMA. Category A com- prises the off boat fishing, using hand line, net to catch shrimps, simple or multiple hooks used with simple rods, baitcasting reels, spinning reels, casting nets with a minimum 25mm mesh to be used exclusively in the sea, rather than in inland and estuary waters, on natural or artificial lures. Category B refers to fishing with the same equipment and allows the use of boats of the leisure class. Such categories are also valid for dive fishing with diving harpoons, provided it is carried out in free diving [without artificial breathing equipment] in conformity with Decree 221. The fisherman can pay for the Fishing License, valid for one year and for all rivers in Brazil, at the Banco do Brasil, Banespa and Nossa Caixa branches. Those using only hand casting of a fishing line or simply rod and hook on off boat fishing are exempted of the fee. It is worth reminding that IBAMA provides an explanatory brochure holding all information on seasons when fishing is permitted or not, besides guiding the angler on how to help environmental preservation and not to act against nature. Rule n 9.059 has recently been approved, exempting retired persons, men over 65 years of age and women over 60, from paying the fee, although not of the Fishing License.

The limit for fish capture and transportation is 30 kg (66 Ib.) plus one specimen for the angler. It is important to emphasize that fish trading is not permitted under the amateur Fishing License. Sportfishing should be the only purpose. Inspection in almost every Brazilian river, is carried out by the Forest Police in association with IBAMA officers. Therefore, whenever the fisherman goes out fishing, he should take his Fishing License and RG, 10 prove the fee has been duly paid when approached by inspectors. Should any route be planned for rivers in the States of Mato Grosso do SuI and Mato Grosso, the fisherman should be aware of the requirement for a State License issued by SEMA [Special Environment Secretariat} and FEMA [Environment Stole Foundation}, which does not depend on authorization by IBAMA. The State License is valid for 3 months and can be obtained at any Banco Bamerindus branch in Malo Grosso do SuI. In Tres lagoas, Novo Mundo and Pataguaçu, there are 24-hour agencies, where the angler can pay the fee, The capture limit is also different for Mato Grosso do SuI. 25 kg {55 Ib.} plus one specimen per fisherman. Retired and senior persons should also pay the State License. The License is unnecessary only in case of off-boat fishing with hand line or simple rod and hook. Those fishing in interstate rivers such as the Apa, Paraná and Paraguay are also required to show the Fishing License issued by IBAMA. In stale rivers of Mato Grosso do Sul, such as the Taquari, Miranda and others, authorization by SEMA should be enough.

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Amazon Basin

River Plate Basin

San Francisco Basin