TOURISTS who are out to enjoy the cold weather on December will be treated to new attractions when they troop to the City of Pines.

The Dagupan office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Lion's Club-Northern Luzon, mayor's office, City Council committee on tourism and the City Tourism Office released 10,000 koi carp and red tilapia fingerlings into Burnham Lake.

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The fingerlings are expected to grow in six months that by December, fish may be harvested, said Director Wally del Rosario of BFAR-Dagupan.

Except for thick silt, del Rosario said koi and tilapia could thrive in the lake.

The lake has a fairly good level of oxygen and abundant algae that could feed the fish. But the lake also has high level of alkalinity that could be remedied by adding half a ton of lime (apog), said del Rosario. Lime neutralizes the water's alkaline level.

Councilor Elmer Datuin, chair of the committee on tourism, said the lime will be donated by the Lion's Club.

The koi and tilapia were donated by BFAR and the Lion's Club.

City Tourism Officer Benedicto Alhambra said if the project becomes successful and is sustained, fishing at the Burnham Lake will be included in the marketing package for Baguio.

Alhambra said fishing at the lake was a traditional practice done in the 1950's, when Baguio was one of the leading tourist destinations in the country.

"This is what we need in promotion. We go back to the basics. It is just a matter of beautifying and enhancing the attractions that already exist," Alhambra said.

Alhambra said fishing may be replicated at the Wright Park where a pond also exists.

He said a group of joggers recently released carp at the Wright Park pond but fishing at the pond is not allowed for the moment.

Meanwhile, Datuin said if the venture becomes successful; an ordinance regulating fishing at the Lake will be hammered out. Fees, rules and regulations will become part of the ordinance.

A 1953 ordinance of the City Government allows for the P10 fishing fee for a period of one month. Datuin said the ordinance has to be amended and attuned to the current situation. (Rimaliza Opiña)