Estonian fish stocks have been supplemented with new specimens 20.05

RMK’s Põlula Fish Rearing Centre has introduced 90,000 young salmon and 630,000 whitefish larvae into Estonian waters to restore the native populations.

In order to strengthen the local salmon population, 10,100 salmons were released into rivers Purtse, Jagala and Valgejõgi and 6700 salmons into river Pärnu. The released fish are approximately two years old. 74,000 year-old salmons were also introduced into the rivers; 48,600 into river Pärnu, 12,800 into Valgejõgi and 12,600 into Purtse.

The adipose fin was removed from all of these specimens to make them easily identifiable when caught. 2500 two-year-old salmons have also been marked with individual markings; a yellow plastic tube attached under their dorsal fin. These markings have RMK’s contact information that can be used to inform RMK of the fish having been caught.

“Information gathered from re-fishing these salmons can give us important knowledge about their growth speeds, sexual maturity and migrations paths,” explained Kunnar Klaas, head of the RMK Põlula Fish Rearing Department.

The RMK asks that any fisherman who captures a marked salmon note down the number and letter combination marked on the tag, as well as data on the time, location, method of fishing, length, weight and gender of the fish, before forwarding them to the contact numbers provided on the tag.

Klaas added that fish marked in other countries can also be found in Estonian waters; these should be called in as well. This information will then be forwarded to scientists in our neighbouring countries.

The report form and additional information on tagged fish can be found on RMK’s home page at: Those unwilling to fill out the form can also send a letter or call the number provided on the tag.

If the caught fish is alive but smaller, it should be released into the body of water immediately so it, too, can have a chance to mature. Information on the released fish should be reported through the RMK’s form.

Pärnu half-transition whitefish have been reared in Põlula for five years. This year, a part of the freshly hatched larvae – 30,700 specimens – have been deposited into river Pärnu. Põlula also helped enrich the stocks of Peipus whitefish.

“We achieved great results in incubating roe. Lake Peipus is now over 600,000 Peipus whitefish larvae richer,” said Klaas. All of these fish have been treated in a special solution that leaves a mark on their otoliths. This allows scientists to tell them apart from the fish who were hatched under natural conditions.

Põlula Fish Rearing Centre has been active for 27 years and is, so far, the only national fish rearing centre in Estonia that is actively pursuing the revitalisation of Estonian fish stocks. Põlula Fish Rearing Centre has raised and relocated 7.5 million salmon, sea trout, river trout, whitefish and sturgeons since 1997. The State Forest Management Centre is the biggest nature conservation operator in Estonia.

Further information:
Kunnar Klaas
Head of the RMK Põlula Fish Rearing Department
+372 527 8245