As scientists we are interested in a wide range of basic science topics. Yet, it is also important for us that our research is highly relevant in real life – fisheries and ecosystem management and conservation, as well as planning for recreational and commercial catch limits. Therefore we are keen to collaborate with all organisations and institutions involved in the management of aquatic ecosystems; from ministries to municipalities or private land ownder. What information and data do you need? Contact us. We will try to answer your questions.

Currently we are conducting the following research to inform fisheries and ecosystem management.

Recreational Fishing

Estimating recreational fishing effort. We use fixed-wing drones, visual surveys and anonymous data from personal echosounders to assess recreational fishing effort (see publication). Our assessments show that from March 2020 until April 2021 about 110 thousand fishing trips occurred in Kaunas Water Reservoir (95% confidence range of 60-230 thousand). Currently we are continuing surveys in Kaunas WR to see how recreational fishing effort changed in 2021 and are expanding surveys to other areas in Lithuania.

Estimation of angler catches. Knowing the angler numbers is not enough, we also need to know how much they catch and how much they release. During 2020-2021 we conducted several hundred on-site angler surveys in Kaunas WR. Our data shows that annually anglers catch about 100 tons of fish (part of it is released) and the biggest impact is seen for perch, pikeperch and bream populations. These species show the slowest recovery since the ban of commercial fishing in 2013, but they also do not show evidence of population decline.

Promoting sustainable recreational fishing. We contribute popular material to encourage responsible and sustainable recreational fisheries - illustrated fishing rules, short videos, popular articles and more. We are also running a citizen science angler program that will contribute towards monitoring of fish population status.

Stock assessments and recommended catches in Curonian Lagoon and Kaunas Reservoir

Long-term monitoring data analysis. Long-term survey data is crucial for fish stock research and management, and regular surveys Curonian Lagoon and Kaunas Reservoir has been conducted since the middle of the 20th century. We have digitised extensive survey data from the 1950-1980s and are currently conducting stock assessments of main fish species (bream, silverbream, pikeperch, roach, perch) based on long-term datasets and recreational catch assessment in Kaunas Reservoir. Analyses and models will be presented in the Models section of this website. Our goal is to use transparent approaches, which will enable both scientists and the public to explore how current and projected catches are likely to affect fish populations. In summer 2022 we will hold a seminar for managers explaining the assumptions, pros and cons of different stock assessment models and their application in fisheries management.

Fish population status in Lithuanian lakes – fishing, climate change and invasive species

Which factors affect the sizes and abundance of fish in Lithuanian lakes? Lithuania is conducting regular scientific monitoring of many lakes, collecting important and highly valuable data. In this project, we will apply a range of statistical methods to assess how fishing, climate and other factors (e.g. predatory fish abundance) affect the biomass and sizes of lake fish species. How have Lithuanian lakes changed, how much have the ecosystems improved since the ban on commercial fishing, and what are the prospects for the future?

Sustainable Inland Fisheries

Nature Research Centre
Akademijos st. 2, LT-08412, Vilnius, Lithuania
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