Ancient ice fishing tradition revitalizes Chagan Lake
By CGTN's Cui Huiao
The centuries-old ice fishing tradition continues to wow the crowds at Chagan Lake, a popular winter resort in northeast China's Jilin Province. 
And this integral part of the area’s rich cultural heritage is also putting money into the pockets of locals.
Now in its 16th year, the annual ice fishing festival attracts thousands of visitors, who have brought an injection of cash into the local service industry.
Yan Shumei is the owner of one of the village's first seafood restaurants and she has seen some big changes since she first opened the doors of her business in 2006. 
Yan presents a fish dish in her restaurant. /CGTN Photo

Yan presents a fish dish in her restaurant. /CGTN Photo

Yan has since opened a second restaurant, something she previously could never have imagined.  
“A lot of my employees now own a car and some villagers even bought an apartment in the city of Songyuan. Life has been much improved,” she said. 
For those who are unable to visit the restaurant in person, an express delivery service is now an option.
And online sales figures are bigger than ever. This year, sales on e-commerce platforms like Taobao and Tmall accounted for almost 70 percent of the overall business at the local fishery.
The fish is now sold all over the country, mostly to high-end restaurants and individual buyers, Zhang Wenping, deputy manager of Chagan Lake Fishery told CGTN, noting the logistics network makes sure that frozen fish will be delivered to customers within 48 hours.
The booming economy has also brought new infrastructure to the fishing village. The local airport located 20 kilometers away from the nature reserve opened in October, opening flights to eight major cities including Beijing and Shanghai.
“Some tourists were hesitant to visit Chagan Lake mainly because of inconvenient transportation. Now with this airport, travel has become easier. We are operating five routes at the moment and will launch new flights next year to destinations like Chengdu, Xi’an and Guangzhou,” said Liu Jing, chairman and general manager of the airport.