More than 500,000 young fish are swimming around in Estonian waters 26.05

RMK’s Põlula Fish Farm introduced hundreds of thousands of whitefish, salmon, trout and sturgeon into various bodies of water to add to the Estonian fish stocks.

Whitefish larvae were the most populous – 377,400 – because the supply of larvae needs to be increased. 3200 coregonus lavaretus were introduced for the first time this year to Pakri Bay. Similarly, more whitefish were introduced into Pärnu River and Lake Peipus – 121,900 diadromous whitefish and 252,300 Lake Peipus whitefish.

76,200 salmon were released to our bodies of water; 26,000 to the rivers of the Gulf of Finland (Purtse and Valgejõgi) and 50,200 salmon to Pärnu River. 10,300 two year-old salmon were released to Purtse, Jägala and Valgejõgi and 6200 to Pärnu River – a total of 16,500 fish weighing 150 grams each on average. 120 two year-old brown trout were released to Kohtla River, 1637 sturgeons were added to Narva River.

“We introduced those species because their stocks have diminished and are unable to breed sufficiently to restore the population on their own,” Advisor of the RMK Fish Rearing Department Ene Saadre explains. Põlula Fish Farm takes roe and milt from fish captured from nature to propagate and grow fish, they also use brood stocks for propagating salmon.

The adipose fin was removed from all of these specimens to make them easily identifiable when caught. An individual label is attached to each of the 2500 two year-old salmon’s dorsal fin, enabling the retrieval of data about its growth, migration and more after catching the fish. A hundred sturgeon also have the individual label attached. All the whitefish larvae have been marked by bathing them in strontium chloride solution which leaves a mark on the otolith of the fish.

“Marking allows researchers to identify the inhabited fish and through that, investigate their multiplicity, state and migration,” Saadre notes.

If you catch a fish with the label, you should report it using the provided phone number or use the online form to return the labels at the RMK Põlula Fish Farm’s website by forwarding the number of the label, the estimated length and weight of the fish and information about the time and place of catching the fish. If it is an undersized and alive fish, you shall release it back into the water at the first opportunity.

Põlula Fish Farm has inhabited over 7.5 million salmon, whitefish, brown trout, river trout, sturgeon and grayling young fish into the bodies of water since 1997. They have raised salmon the most and Ene Saadre says that their efforts to increase the abundance of salmon have finally borne fruit.

“The population of salmon have been restored quite well in the Northern Estonian rivers,” Ene Saadre notes, introducing the future plans. In the near future, Põlula Fish Farm will focus on growing young fish, especially restoring the shoal of salmon in Pärnu River, and continues to experiment with growing whitefish, sturgeon and freshwater pearls.”

Further information:
Ene Saadre
RMK’s Fish Rearing Department Advisor
+372 516 2554