Over 190,000 salmon and sea trout juveniles were stocked in Estonian rivers 02.06

The Põlula Fish Farm, belonging to RMK, stocked the North-Estonian rivers and the River Pärnu with more than 190,000 salmon and sea trout juveniles of various ages. This is expected to restore the salmon and sea trout population in the rivers where their natural population has become weak or perished. This will also add to the fishing possibilities of professional and recreational fishermen.

Over the three weeks of spring altogether more than 42,000 two-year and 40,000 one-year salmon and 5700 two- and 3600 one-year sea trout were stocked in the rivers. While in previous years, the one- and two-year salmon and sea trout were only stocked in the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Finland, this year 15,000 one-and 16,000 two-year salmon juveniles were also introduced to the River Pärnu under the Sindi dam, from were they soon headed to the sea. The return of these species from their food migration in the sea to spawn migration in the same river can be expected in 2-3 years.

The salmon juveniles complemented the Selja, Valgejõgi, Loobu, Jägala, Pirita and Purtse rivers; sea trout was stocked in the River Pudisoo and Pühajõgi.

When stocking the salmon and sea trout juveniles, one has to consider their origin, as the fish populations of various regions differ from each other genetically and it is not recommended to mix them. Thus the River Pärnu can only be stocked with the species of the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Riga, the rivers of the northern coast with those of the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Finland, and so on.

In order to grow fish for stocking the rivers of the Gulf of Finland, the fish farm has a broodstock of salmon, which initially originates from the species caught from the River Kunda. To restore the salmon population in the River Pärnu, the juveniles were grown from the fish eggs obtained from the salmon of the River Daugava in Latvia. Before each stocking cycle more specific recommendations are given by the scientists of the Estonian Marine Institute of the University of Tartu, who have previously assessed the restoration of natural breeding and compared it with the capacity of potential habitats.

All one- and two-year stocked juveniles have their adipose fins cut off, which helps to distinguish them from natural species. In addition, ca. 10% of fish were branded with individual markers attached under the dorsal fin, which enables more precise information to be obtained on their migration, growth speed, sexual maturity, and so on.

The RMK Põlula Fish Farm is located at the outflow of the Lavi Spring in Rägavere Rural Municipality, Lääne Viru County. This is the only fish farm in Estonia that has operated for so long almost uninterrupted. The Põlula Fish Farm has been a part of RMK since the beginning of 2014.

RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Republic of Estonia. RMK earns a profit for the state through forest management, growing reforestation material, and organising forest and nature conservation works. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for nature walking in recreational and protected areas and fosters nature awareness. RMK also includes the Sagadi Forest Centre, the Elistvere Animal Park and the Tartu Tree Nursery. More than 700 people work for RMK; however, the total number of people employed in the state forest is 5000.

Further information:
Kunnar Klaas
Head of the RMK Fish Farming Department
Tel: 527 8245
E-mail kunnar.klaas@rmk.ee