Over 90,000 salmon and sea trout juveniles have been released into Estonian rivers to restore fish population in rivers where their natural populations has become weak or perished, and add to fishing possibilities.
Over the three weeks of spring altogether more than 42,000 two-year and 40,000 one-year salmon and 5,700 two- and 3,600 one-year sea trout were stocked in northern Estonian rivers and River Pärnu. The return of these species from their food migration in the sea to spawn migration in the same river can be expected in 2-3 years.
The salmon juveniles complemented the Selja, Valgejõgi, Loobu, Jägala, Pirita and Purtse rivers; sea trout was stocked in the River Pudisoo and Pühajõgi.
When stocking the salmon and sea trout juveniles, one has to consider their origin, as the fish populations of various regions differ from each other genetically and it is not recommended to mix them. Thus the River Pärnu can only be stocked with the species of the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Riga, the rivers of the northern coast with those of the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Finland, and so on.
In order to grow fish for stocking the rivers of the Gulf of Finland, the fish farm has a broodstock of salmon, which initially originates from the species caught from the River Kunda. To restore the salmon population in the River Pärnu, the juveniles were grown from the fish eggs obtained from the salmon of the River Daugava in Latvia.
All one- and two-year stocked juveniles have their adipose fins cut off, which helps to distinguish them from natural species. In addition, about 10 percent of fish were branded with individual markers attached under the dorsal fin, which enables more precise information to be obtained on their migration, growth speed, sexual maturity, and so on.
The fish were grown in State Forest Management Center-owned Põlula Farm in Lääne-Viru County, which is Estonia's longest continually running fish farm.
Editor: M. Oll