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Piotr Dębowski

Abstract

The sea trout, Salmo trutta L. population in the Vistula River was the largest in the Baltic Sea. Its primary spawning grounds were located in the Carpathian tributaries in the upper river basin. The fish ascended to spawn in two runs: in winter when the fish were immature and spent nearly a whole year in the river, and in summer when mature fish ascended the river and spawned within a few months. This work presents the fisheries and stocking history and scientific studies of this population from the late nineteenth century. The consequences of the most important changes in the sea trout habitat are tracked from construction in the upper river basin in the 1940s and the damming of the river in its middle reaches in Włocławek in 1969. Despite intense stocking that has been conducted for over one hundred years, catches have declined from over 100 tons to nearly zero in recent years. The current state of the population and the possibilities of restoring it are discussed in light of genetic studies.

Open access

Piotr Dȩbowski and Stefan Dobosz

Abstract

The developmental pathways of the offspring of three groups of trout, Salmo trutta L., with known life histories were compared: one group from a freshwater resident population and two groups from an anadromous population (fish that have smoltified and fish that have not). The fish were hybridized within a group, and 27 families were obtained and reared mixed in two tanks. Tracking fish specimens was possible thanks to individual passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging. All families followed different life pathways. Faster growth favored early smoltification and maturation at the age of 1+ in males that had not smoltified. In addition, both processes were clearly also influenced by inherited factors. Fish of freshwater resident origin smoltified more infrequently, and males matured earlier than did fish from the migratory population. The offspring of parents from the migratory population, which did smoltify during their individual histories, smoltified early (in the second year) more often than offspring of non-smoltified members of the population.

Open access

Piotr Dębowski, Rafał Bernaś, Michał Skóra and Jacek Morzuch

Abstract

The European eel, Anguilla anguilla L., is an endangered species. Barriers to its downstream spawning migration are one of the greatest threats this species faces. There are hundreds of hydroelectric plants (HEP) on rivers in Poland (> 600), and thousands throughout Europe. Eel that pass through HEP turbines as they migrate downstream suffer high mortality, but this depends mainly on local and technical conditions. Silver eel mortality was estimated and the possibility of the fish bypassing the turbines was studied between November 2013 and June 2014 at a typical HEP in northern Poland. Two telemetry methods were used with 49 eel: passive integrated transponder (PIT) system and acoustic telemetry. Fifty five percent of eel migrated downstream in fall 2013, soon after their release, and 45% migrated the next spring. The eel did not use the fish passes designed for upstream migration; thus, they were forced to go through the turbines, which resulted in 55% mortality. HEPs cause interruptions and delays in eel spawning migrations and are responsible for high eel mortality. This can make implementing an eel restitution plan difficult or even impossible in river systems with many barriers.