Sea trout and salmon of the Vistula basin

Sports fishing for sea trout and salmon has a long tradition in Poland. Even in the interwar period, hundreds of sea trout were caught each year in the Carpathian tributaries of the Vistula. The most rich in these great salmonids was the mountain river Dunajec, right tributary of the Vistula. The sea trout of this river was called "the Dunajec Salmon", because they often gained more than the mass 10 Kg, with a length of over 1 metra.

After the Second World War, as a result of dividing rivers with dams and increasing pollution, sea trout in the Carpathian tributaries of the Vistula began to gradually disappear. And after you-
building in 1969 In the year of the dam in Włocławek, the sea trout in the upper Vistula and its tributaries disappeared almost completely. Fortunately, Drwęca saved the herd of Vistula trout. The sea trout found substitute spawning grounds in this river and its tributaries. Natural spawning, very strongly supported by the artificial restocking of the basin, it was possible to save this valuable population from extinction.

The Vistula trout is one of the best-growing populations of this species in the entire Baltic Sea basin. Doc. R. Bartel passes, that very large specimens were recorded among the tagged Vistula trout caught. In November 1968 a year long trout was caught at the mouth of the Vistula 111 cm and weight 14,1 Kg. It was a male, po tar him – dated, thus, its initial mass at the start of the spawning journey was much greater. In December 1973 a year long trout was caught in the Vistula near Tczew 108 cm and weight 16,2 Kg. In 1971 tagged sea trout was caught in the year, which in four seasons at sea has reached its length 103 cm and weight 11 Kg. Naturally, salmon were even larger in Wisła (Salmo Salar L.). J. Jokiel (WW VI 56) gives, that 26 July 1954 on 906 km of the Vistula River (34 km from the mouth) a large male of length was caught 124,5 cm and weight 21.1 Kg. 19 November 1954 year on 862 km of the Vistula River (78 km from the mouth) a male was caught flowing into the sea after spawning. It was long 125 cm and weight 18,7 Kg. As the above author writes, back in the fifties, "Number of pieces of salmon, included in the economic fisheries on the Lower Vistula, in relation to sea trout it was limited 1-0,25% total sea trout catches ". Native salmon population, apart from a few Pomeranian rivers, in the Vistula basin, it was maintained the longest in Brda and Drwęca. Currently there are cases of catching salmon in Wisła, if they happen at all, these are definitely very rare. Therefore, in my opinion, it is necessary to try to restore salmon to Drwęca. We have a salmon spawning base in Jastarnia. It only needs to be done. It will certainly be a lower risk than introducing salmon to Słupia.

From the 1991 In the first days of February, a lot of sea trout was caught in the rivers of Western Pomerania. They were mostly fish "kelta". This year, the date of sport fishing for sea trout has been postponed a month earlier. Whether it was the right decision remains to be seen in the future. However, the fishing results in the first days of this year's season on Pomeranian rivers were much worse than before. Many factors contributed to this. The fact was surely the main one, that just less fish than usual entered the rivers last fall. A question must be asked – what caused it. Has reduced restocking, which has happened in recent years? Is excessive industrial catches of sea trout in rivers and near their mouths? (1) Is this phenomenon temporary?, will this condition continue, will it get worse? We will see it in the coming years. Unlike in Pomeranian rivers, in the lower Drwęca the beginning of the season was very successful. Already in the first days of the season, several dozen fine sea trout were caught, the largest of which was measured 102 Cm, and her weight was 10 Kg. It was a worn female in excellent condition. In addition, sea trout "fell" 5-7,5 Kg. Smaller fish weighing less than 3 kg was clearly less. The most attractive period of silver trout fishing is still ahead of us. According to an excellent expert on this river and an excellent angler, Wojciech Sudek from Toruń, this period is mid-April. At that time, silver Vistula trout began to enter Drwęca, going up the river. Last year, my colleagues from Toruń were catching "silverfish" on the Drwęca River weighing up to 9 Kg. This year they have hope, that they will break this record, which I sincerely wish them.

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