Surha Taal

Surha Taal Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural rainfed lake, located north of Ballia town near village Rajpur in Ballia district. It has an area of 1,528 ha. Surha Taal is surrounded by agricultural fields. Eichhornia crassipes is the dominant weed, within and along the margins of the lake. An excellent water body serving as host to several migratory and resident bird fauna, this wetland has been listed as a high priority wetland of Level V, that is wetlands with high ecological and socio-economic potential but with poor data availability, in a prioritization of biological conservation sites in Indian wetlands (Samant 2000). Fishing is very common. Local farmers use the lake water for irrigation. Wetland vegetation is used as fodder for the domestic livestock and as domestic fuel.

It is an oval shaped natural oxbow lake which has an area of 34.32 sq. km. and is located about 17 km. north from the Ballia city along the river Ganges.GeographyGeographically Surha is located in Middle Ganga Plains along the margins of Ganges. It owes its origin to the meandering of Ganges and now a narrow outlet of about 23 km named Kathar Nala connects it with the river and is the main outflow channel. The area of the lake is subject to seasonal variation and the lake expands to its maximum during monsoon rains in the month of August–September every year. The lake discharges its waters into Ganga river through Kathar Nala. Some times the flow of kathar Nala gets reversed during the high floods in Ganges and Sarayu rivers. Surha Tal has been historically famous for the variety of migratory and native birds. It was declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1991.

Traditionally the ecosystem of Surha Tal has been well adopted to peddy culture and fishing but the basic problem of the area is overpopulation which exerts tremendous pressure on the catchment of the lake as well as lake itself. Some exotic species have also been reported to encroach the small lakes in the basin. Studies have shown stable characteristics of water quality.EconomicsSurha Tal has been important fishing area and livelihood of many fishermen around the lake solely depends on the lake. Another importance is peddy culture in the lake.

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