For Scientists

1. Assessment of recreational fishing effort through space and time.

We assess recreational fishing effort using fixed-wing drones (in collaboration with a company Thrust) and anonymous user data from a fishfinder device Deeper.

Links: scientific publication, code and data on GitHub, short video on YouTube, conference talk.

We conducted extensive on-site angler surveys to assess catches and the overall impact of recreational fishing in a productive and large inland ecosystem Kaunas Water Reservoir. We show that recreational fishing has a substantial impact on bream and predatory species (pikeperch, perch), which explains their slow recovery after the commercial fishing ban in 2013.

Links: scientific publication, code and data on GitHub, conference talk, conference poster.

We also explore effects of the  COVID-19 pandemic on recreational fishing effort in four European countries. How quickly can fishing effort and angler behaviour change and what does this mean for improving fishing regulations?

Links: conference talk, publication is in preparation.

We have also developed a smart phone application FishSizeProject (currently available only in Lithuania, but going international soon) to encourage angler participation in citizen science. To learn more about the importance of angler citizen science watch this conference talk, or this talk about anglers as ambassadors for conservation.

2. Machine learning tools for a new digital age in fisheries.

In collaboration with the companies Deeper and Angler’s Atlas, non-for-profit Fishial and other groups we are working on enhancing machine learning tools for species identification and size determination to be used in recreational and artisanal fisheries.

Links: online workshop “Machine learning tools for species identification and fish size estimation in recreational and small-scale fisheries” recording available on YouTube, scientific publication (in review), special session in World small scale fisheries congress Europe, open access code on our GitHub site for more information and tools.
3. Tools and models for inland fisheries status assessments.

We have assembled and digitised thousands of historical records (1950-1990) from fish surveys in the Curonian Lagoon and Kaunas Water Reservoir. This data collection will enable better assessment of fish population trends and human impacts.

Links: scientific publication and data portal on our website.

Fisheries models to assess fish population status in the Curonian Lagoon (where most populations are commercially fished) and Kaunas Water Reservoir (where all commercial fishing was banned in 2013). Publications coming soon.

Links: conference talk and more information on the page for Managers

International effort for European wide assessments of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca), one of the most important and valuable predatory inland fish species. Our preliminary analyses show that the overall population status is not great. More information coming soon.

4. Size based community models for coastal and inland ecosystems.

We are developing a size-based ecosystem model for the Curonian lagoon, using a popular modelling tool mizer.

Links: international online course “Size based ecosystem models with the R package mizer and applications for coastal and inland ecosystems”.
5. Temperature impacts on fish growth: empirical data and models.

We are studying global warming impacts on fish using a unique natural experiment in Lake Druksiai. The lake served as a cooling reservoir for the Ignalina nuclear power plant during 1980-2004 and was later shut down. We are studying fish growth changes during the heating and cooling phases to assess how temperature affects growth in a complex ecosystem.

Links: conference talk

We also developed a simple life-history optimisation model to understand how temperature impacts on metabolism, food intake and mortality can lead to faster juvenile growth but smaller adult size.

Links: publication (accepted) to be available soon, code and data on GitHub

6. Fish population status in lakes

We are exploring impacts of Ponto-Caspian crustacean introductions and disappearance of native “glacial relict” crustaceans.
Links: conference poster

We have compiled 10 years fish population monitoring studies from nearly 300 Lithuanian lakes and are conducting analyses on changes in fish sizes and abundances, and main factors behind these changes. More results are coming soon.

Sustainable Inland Fisheries

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