NPC questioned for lack of fish ladders

The National Power Corporation has been asked to explain why it failed to cause the installation of fish ladders on the spillway of the San Roque Dam in San Manuel, Pangasinan which effectively shut off indigenous marine life from completing their yearly migration to the headwaters of Benguet.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet last week posed this inquiry as part of a resolution endorsing an Itogon municipal resolution that called on the San Roque Power Corporation to conduct eel seeding in the San Roque dam reservoir.

The main part of the dam reservoir is in the municipality of Itogon, notably in parts of barangays Dalupirip and Ampucao.

Board Member Juan Nazarro Jr. said the putting up of the fish ladders is part of the 17 conditions that the NPC agreed to implement in exchange for the endorsement of the dam project by Benguet officials.

He said the construction of the fish ladder would have allowed eels and other marine life to complete their yearly exodus to the upland rivers and streams, notably along the Agno River.

“It appears that after spawning in the open sea, the eels then travel back to the rivers of Benguet as part of their cycle of life,” he said.

The Itogon municipal council said that pending the implementation of the fish ladders, the San Roque Corporation should conduct eel seeding in reply to the clamor of residents.

The Itogon resolution is itself an endorsement of a similar resolution passed by the barangay council of Dalupirip.

Eels are considered a supplemental source of food for communities located river systems.

Nazarro said the NPC had also been requested earlier to seed the Ambuclao and Binga dams with eels.

-Jimmy Laking, Baguio Midland Courier


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