Juvenile Eels Introduced to Nation's Lakes
In an effort to combat losses in eel populations, the Environmental Board today began its intermittent practice of repopulating Estonia's lakes with juvenile eels, known as elvers.
According to the plan, 104,000 elvers are being dropped into the lakes of Vagula, Kuremaa, Kaiavere, Saadjärv and Võrtsjärv in this year's operation.
The activity is being carried out under a 256,000 euro, EU-funded re-population project running from 2011 to 2014, said a statement released by the board.
Commercial fishing of the current batch can begin after five to six years, when the now eight-gram elvers have matured.
Unsustainable fishing practices and climate change have drastically reduced the eel numbers in recent years.
Two million juvenile eels were let into freshwater bodies in Estonia annually in the 1970s and 1980s.