eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
Estonian Journal of Ecology

Recreational ice fishing on the large Lake Peipsi: socioeconomic importance, variability of ice-cover period, and possible implications for fish stocks; pp. 282–298

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/eco.2014.4.06

Kati Orru, Külli Kangur, Peeter Kangur, Kai Ginter, Andu Kangur


This article focuses on the socioeconomic aspects of recreational ice fishing and on the related pressures on the fish stocks of Lake Peipsi in changing ice conditions. Structured interviews conducted with anglers were combined with the assessment of the landings, the numbers of fisher­men, and fluctuations in ice-cover periods. At weekends, up to 3000 anglers were observed on the Estonian side of the ice-covered lake. Respondents defined ice fishing as a hobby; however, financial gain from selling caught fish was an important incentive for retired or unemployed persons. Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis L., was the most important target fish. Catches amounted from 0 to 20 kg (mean ~ 4 kg) per day per angler. Depending on the length of the ice-cover period, which varied from a few days to four months, the total catch may differ about ten times. In the case of long ice-cover periods, anglers may fish out approximately 40% of the total catch of perch, roach, Rutilus rutilus (L.), and ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernuus (L.) in the lake. However, favouring recreational fisheries would help to maintain the traditional fisheries-dependent lifestyle and benefit socioeconomically less secured people around Lake Peipsi and beyond.


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