Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)has for the first time actively taken part in the Murchison Falls Invitational Fishing Tournament by lining three anglers namely George Atube, Yekodino Nyero and Wellborn Ojara.
The three day event that ran from March 1-3, attracted 48 competitions from different countries representing corporate bodies and others in their individual capacities.
Mr. James Lutalo the commissioner for Tourism and Wildlife conservation represented the Uganda minister for Tourism at the official opening of the tournament which took place at Murchison River Lodge. He commended the organizers including Georgie More, Peter Baldwin, Jerry Burley and Gustaf Brew for highlighting Murchison Falls National Park as a top tourism destination through promotion of the unique product in sport fishing.
The 2012 tournament was won by Mark Spriesterbach using a Nile Breweries boat whose total catch was 83.1kgs including a 75.3kg of Nile perch on the first day. He won himself a brand new Yamaha motor cycle which he donated to UWA to enhance their anti poaching efforts. Spriesterbach praised the Victoria Nile as a fantastic fishing spot compared to other water bodies in Southern Africa where he had previously participated.
The organizers and participants of the 2012 Murchison Falls Invitational Fishing Tournament however expressed concern about the declining fish populations in the River Nile.
While the competitors in the year 2010 got a total catch of 720kg and 708 kg for 2011, this year the 47 competitors using 17 boats only managed a total catch of 369kg. They attributed this to water pollution and possible depletion of the fish stocks trough illegal activities.
The acting manager Murchison Falls Conservation Area Eng. Paul Kiwanuka thanked the organizers for choosing the Nile and the motorcycle donation. He promised to consult further on the issue of reinstating the annual fishing permits for the anglers and also promote sport fishing as a unique product.
The youngest fisherman was an eight year old Rinaldo Milletti from Italy .UWA was represented by Atube, Ojara and Nyeri. The fishermen blamed dirty water and the floating weed for their low catch.