Government has for the second time set July 1 as the date for reopening Lake Kyoga to fishing.
Fishing on the lake was suspended last year on request by the district leaders under Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organisation (LAKIMO) following concerns of depletion of fish species due to poor fishing methods.
The government announced plans to reopen the lake in December last year but this never came to pass.
However, State minister for Fisheries Hellen Adoa Abeku last Thursday told residents of Soroti District that the fishermen will be allowed access to the lake on July 1.
Nevertheless, Ms Adoa said only registered fishermen with recommended boats and fishing gear will be allowed on the waters.
“On July 1 we shall open the lake, but only for registered fishermen with standard boats and legal fishing gear,” she said.
The minister noted that the lake was closed due to over exploitation of the fish and use of illegal fishing gear, something she said led to reduction of diversity of fish species in the lake.
She also dismissed reports that the ban was an intention of the government to deny the fishing communities an opportunity to earn a livelihood from the lake.
The chairperson of Kamuda Sub-county in Soroti District, Mr Daniel Eigu, said they have started educating the communities on the need to destroy all the illegal gear if they do not want to clash with the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU).