Changes in the fish community of Loch Leven: untangling anthropogenic pressures

Winfield, I.J., Adams, C.E. , Armstrong, J.D., Gardiner, R., Kirika, A., Montgomery, J., Spears, B.M., Stewart, D.C., Thorpe, J.E. and Wilson, W. (2012) Changes in the fish community of Loch Leven: untangling anthropogenic pressures. Hydrobiologia, 681(1), pp. 73-84. (doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0925-8)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10750-011-0925-8

Abstract

Loch Leven, U.K., contains brown trout (Salmo trutta), eel (Anguilla anguilla), minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus), perch (Perca fluviatilis), pike (Esox lucius) and three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), with brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri) and stone loach (Barbatula barbatula) also present in its tributaries. Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and flounder (Platichthys flesus) are now extinct. The brown trout population has supported a world-renowned recreational fishery for over a century, although a decline in fishery performance led to extensive stocking between 1983 and 2006, including with non-native rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). This review combines historical information with contemporary gill-net and hydroacoustic surveys. In 2008, brown trout, perch and three-spined sticklebacks were abundant, but pike and stone loach were rare. The obstruction of migratory routes was probably responsible for the loss of Atlantic salmon and flounder, while a lowering of water level likely caused the extinction of Arctic charr and contributed to a reduction in pike abundance. Perch abundance has fluctuated markedly, being influenced by disease and eutrophication, although a reduction in nutrients and associated recovery of macrophytes are likely to have benefitted this species. Although the brown trout population has undoubtedly shown a long-term decline, individuals are currently in excellent condition.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Adams, Professor Colin
Authors: Winfield, I.J., Adams, C.E., Armstrong, J.D., Gardiner, R., Kirika, A., Montgomery, J., Spears, B.M., Stewart, D.C., Thorpe, J.E., and Wilson, W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Hydrobiologia
ISSN:0018-8158
ISSN (Online):1573-5117
Published Online:15 November 2011

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