The Li River is the connecting waterway between Guilin and Yangshuo. Cormorant fishing was once a main method for the fishmen to catch fish on the Li River. It has become recreational life local people, and evening entertainment show for tourists from all over the world.
Cormorant is a kind of large and conspicuous waterbird, the cormorant has an almost primitive appearance with its long neck making it appear almost reptilian. It is often seen standing with its wings held out to dry. Regarded by some as black, sinister and greedy, cormorants are supreme fishers which can bring them into conflict with anglers and they have been persecuted in the past.
The cormorant is a fascinating bird. It is able to dive under water and stay there for a long time. While it is under water it searches for fish. The bird then catches the fish in its beak and returns to the surface.
The bird is unable to swallow the fish as a string has been tied loosely around its neck. The fisherman, who is on a bamboo raft will lift the bird onto the raft and remove the fish and drop it into a basket. The bird then goes back into the water to try to catch more. You can view this in the evenings. The local travel agencies and local guides can arrange this for you.
The birds are treated very well all of their lives. In the past, and in some cases still now, they are essential for catching food for their families. In some guide books you will read that cormorants eat every 7th fish they catch. This is true for some birds, but you may also be able to view that some fisherman continue fishing after your show and the birds eat all of their new catch.
Vital Statistics Eggs: 3-4 Incubation: 28-31 days Fledging: 50 days Maximum lifespan: 23 years Length: 80-100cm Wingspan: 130-160cm Weight: 1,700-3,000g
1.5 hour Tour Arrangement
Cormorant fishing is unique in China. This way of fishing has been existing for hundreds of years already. The birds do fishing much better at night than day time. People sometimes see lights on bamboo rafts in the river. That will be the fisherman who use cormorants to fish to make extra income.
It is a rare opportunity to get a close look at the fishing and people always wonder how these birds can fish for people. Those who are interested will get the answer and experience after they make reservation. People get aboard on a big boat(passenger capacity:30-60 pax). It drifts while the bamboo rafts following so that tourists can watch the performance clearly.
With the order from fisherman, the well-trained cormorants will dive into water to find fish and catch them. They are so good at diving that they can go under water for quite a long time. When they succeed in getting any fish, they will proudly swim back to the raft and show off to the fisherman.
The fisherman usually award one or two very small fish to encourage them. Of course, the birds also swallow the small fish when they catch. Sometimes they do get big carps that weigh 3-4 pounds. With the straw or rope tied around their necks, they can not swallow these big carps they catch. To some extent, this is quite cruel and unfair to the birds. The poor but interesting birds work for man, not for themselves!
The performance generally lasts 45 minutes or so. When the performance is over, tourists surely will get a lot of ideas about how the cormorants do fishing for people