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Hydropower dam becomes annual fishing ground in southern Vietnam

Tuesday, October 01, 2019, 14:58 GMT+7
Hydropower dam becomes annual fishing ground in southern Vietnam
Thousands catch fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

Once every year, a hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province of southern Vietnam closes its spillway gates after the flood season, leaving plenty of fish stranded for the catching as thousands flock to collect ‘heaven’s fortune.’

The Tri An Hydropower Plant, finished in 1986, has an installed capacity of 400MW and includes a dam and lake built over the Dong Nai River.

Once every year, Tri An opens its spillway gates around September during the peak of the wet season to discharge water and prevent flood from overtopping the dam.

The Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

The Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

Plenty of fish migrating upstream become trapped upon reaching the dam, transforming this part of the river into a populated fishing ground.

As the Tri An dam closed its spillway gates on Monday afternoon after nearly two weeks of opening, water levels downstream the plant were immediately lower, allowing thousands to wade their way into the shallow river and catch the stranded fish.

People use nets to catch fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

People use nets to catch fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

Some came fully-prepared with fishing nets and electrofishing equipment, while others enjoyed catching fish with their bare hands.

After about 30 minutes, the first barbs and shark minnows were brought to shore, where they were weighed and sold to vendors.

People use electrofishing equipment to catch fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

People use electrofishing equipment to catch fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

“I come here every year when the spillway gates close, but there is much less fish this year compared to the previous,” said Duc Hieu, a Dong Nai local.

“But I’m not complaining, since it’s 'heaven’s fortune' after all,” he said.

A man smiles as he carries a freshly caught fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

A man smiles as he carries a freshly-caught fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

A man throws a fishing net to catch fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

A man throws a fishing net to catch fish near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

A man carries freshly caught fish in a bag near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

A man carries freshly-caught fish in a bag near the Tri An hydropower dam in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam on September 30, 2019. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

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