Fish inventory in 35 lakes completed

Hidden at the bottom of Lake Maggiore, a rare cagnetta (Salaria fluviatilis). In

Hidden at the bottom of Lake Maggiore, a rare cagnetta (Salaria fluviatilis). In order to better understand the diversity of the fish and their dynamics, researchers in the Projet Lac have begun to observe the fish directly in their environment. (Photo: Eawag, Ole Seehausen)

Alexander, T.; Seehausen, O. (2021) Diversity, distribution and community composition of fish in perialpine lakes. "Projet Lac" synthesis report, 282 p, Institutional Repository

Whereas in the large Alpine lakes such as Lake Lucerne, Lake Brienz or Lake Thun the various whitefish species dominate in terms of number of fish and their biomass, at higher levels of the nutrient phosphorus it is rather the perch that dominate, together with roach, chub and common or southern rudd. An exception is Lake Maggiore, where the agone, a freshwater herring, dominates in open water, and the alpine lakes of Sils and Poschiavo, where non-native Arctic char and native and introduced, also non-native trout predominate.

Advice for fisheries and protection measures

The present synthesis report on the project provides an overview of the state of fish species diversity and fish stocks in all the larger lakes of the western Alpine region. It brings together the results from individual lakes, and since they were collected using the same methodology everywhere, the work provides a basis for comparisons between lakes and for analysing larger contexts. "Above all, recommendations can now be derived for the preservation of the still preserved fish species diversity in the lakes and for sustainable lake fishing," says project leader Ole Seehausen. Also important for continuous monitoring and later comparisons is the scientific reference collection of all fish species from all lakes built up at the Natural History Museum in Bern. It is also accessible to the public in the new permanent exhibition "Wunderkammer" .

Created by Andri Bryner

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