According to local sources, more than hundred gillnets were made in Shalikha, Mostobapur, Foraspur, Babuipara, Singi, Gomrail, Nagar Chaprail, Ekotapur, Bonkhirdha, Ishakhali areas in the middle of the river.
Sydur Rahman Reza, fisheries officer of the upazila, said mother fishes came to release eggs during Ashar and Srabon months in the river.
“Fisherman killed the fish fry by using current nets and many other fishing traps making the gillnets in the middle of the river defying the govt law,” he added.
The gillnets made with bamboo, and nets hamper the normal flow of the river and the fish cannot move easily, hampering breeding.
The sources said Ashraful of Shalikha village, Selim and Rajkumar of Singi, Bulla and Bablu of Babuipara, Shafimal of Mostobapur, Gopal of Gomrail, Bistomalo of Ekotapur, Sonaton Kumar Biswas of Chaprail and Daud Hossain of Foraspur villages are involved with the illegal business.
They become busy in catching fish from the breeding period.
Seeking anonymity, many local people said a mobile court fined Tk1,000 to Sonaton Malo and Tk15,000 to Bulla last year.
But they became more active this year with the help of local influential people.
Nazmul Islam of Chaprail village said every year the mobile court fined the people involved with illegal fishing. But, later they became busy in their business.
He urged the government to make strong laws in this regard.
Abdur Razzak of Bonkhirdha village said it was not enough to fine Tk1,000 or Tk15,000.
The people who are involved with the illegal activities should be punished strongly, he added.
Sydur Rahman, the fisheries officer said he had come in the area recently.
He urged locals to help him to stop the illegal fishing.
UNO Monowar Molla said the government had banned catching fish by making the gillnets in the river.
“Last year we fined many people for catching fish in the river. This year, we will conduct a drive soon,” he added.