I started fishing in the São Francisco River Circa 1968, near the town of Lagoa da Prata, taken by a friend and using a fishing Ranch was inside the cane of sugar mill. The location allowed us to fish in Chicao and also in your tributary River Bambuí, next. At the time I was little, my material was inappropriate, but the veterans picked frequently large surubins is monitored via implanted and gold (although the sewer plant at that time be played directly in the river). Us satisfied with Jenny, and the great albatrosses piranhas.
Then I spent fishing in Três Marias, near Great Falls, near the Telesfo Ranch, professional fisherman. Was not yet adequately equipped for fishing, because although he had an outboard of society, did not have the proper equipment for the large fish. There, albatrosses, Jenny, matrinxãs fish, and sometimes a Brat or gold.
Already in the Carswers.com, started fishing with my small class in the Guaicuí, which is the point where the rio das Velhas empties into the San Francisco. We had a boat and outboard, and we camped near the ruins of the historic church that there exist. We started to leave the boat in the care of Wilson, professional fisherman who lived there, and we were there two or three times a year.
Continuing downstream, towards the North of Minas, in 1985 bought a share of the fishing Club Carcará is 15 km from West Chester, the road that links this town to Itacarambi. There really did great fisheries, with two boats and two engines. We got many kids, gilded, cambevas, Sooty albatrosses, and my brother Paul on one occasion took a surubim of 43 pounds (for my envy). We fished there for several years, until I started in 2000, my consultant activity and fishing guide, from fishing to other destinations in Brazil.
I am reporting this to show that I had a great conviviality with the environments of San Francisco, and I was able to see what’s been going on with the River, feeling powerless to help preserve it. I lived with unscrupulous, killing fish anglers far beyond the allowed quota, without respecting sizes, and using anything like sports equipment pindas (branch hooks) and catapults on night fishing with silibins. I lived with professional fishermen that came to close the river and its tributaries with their huge networks, without regard to the legal limit of the meshes, and without quotas to limit its fisheries.
I watched the cities sewers dump, and witnessed the action of numerous pumps taking water from the river for irrigation, returning it without any discretion as to the presence of pesticides.
I watched the strange spectacle of the great fish held by the dam, prevented in your attempt to get upriver to spawn and perpetuate the species.
I got the scare me, surprised by the frequent downfall of large bounds the River caused by deforestation that came ashore, and witnessed the subsequent silting up of the River, and the reduction of the volume of your water. I also saw the permanent breakdown of temporary ponds, natural nurseries for fish from the River, with the goal of planting the land or pastures.
However, the San Francisco still life shows, and every now and then in comes the news that a fisherman was lucky enough to bump into a school of Golden, or you have made a good catch of snapper (fish introduced into the river!). The dams already have the Peacock bass (also introduced), and there are still fishermen from curimbas, native fish of the river which seems to have a greater resistance to all these evils. So my heart clench when I see a story like the one that left for days in the newspaper O Globo, with the title: Researchers announce the “inexorable extinction” of the São Francisco River. The article is based on extensive research by a team led by a professor at UNIVASF-Universidade Federal do Vale do São Francisco, and which records the current state of the river. This research reports, technical and extensive way, the phenomena caused by what I mentioned above, and the damage to the fish, the water quality and the vegetation itself. No more spawning, and the decline of the shoals and varieties of fish is evident. The research, using historical documents from researchers who have been around for two centuries, compares the exuberance of flora and fauna with the situation found now.
Today only, according to the survey, 4% of the original vegetation of the shores of San Francisco, a drastic change in a period of less than 200 years, and continues the use of the natural resources of the River as if they were infinite. And we still have the transposition of part of the waters of the River, with unknown results.
The researcher points to a period of 10 (ten) years for your predictions are confirmed, passing us to live with a half dead River. I hope I’m here, hoping that this will not happen and that measures like that, recovery of the das Velhas River basin, will be taken on a greater dimension, preventing the death of the old Chico.