PRO TROUT - Prospering native brown trout and local fishing professions (KA10003)

Welcome to PRO TROUT home page!

PRO TROUT preserves native fish biodiversity and serves livelihoods based on sustainable fishing.

"Photo collage of jumping cartoon brown trout, close-up of a pike, scenery of lake Pyaozero and fells and fisherman's hand selecting a hand-tied fly from a tiny box."

We work towards fisheries of Lake Pyaozero in Russian Karelia being used, controlled and managed in a way that stops the ongoing erosion of native fish biodiversity and allows for local people to operate fishery-based businesses sustainably.

The wild brown trout of Oulanka-Pyaozero watercourse move regularly between Russia and Finland throughout their life. They are adapted to make best use of the resources each country has to offer.

In their Finnish home territory, they mate, lay eggs and grow into juveniles in rivers Oulanka, Kitka and Kuusinki. Increasing appetite and perhaps instinctual knowledge of the abundant fish prey drives the brown trout to migrate downstream across the border to their Russian home territory, the vast Lake Pyaozero. In a couple of years in the lake, most of them grow into reproductive maturity and turn their noses towards the estuary of Olanga river again. Up the Olanga and across the border they swim, to create the next generation of wild ones. After spawning, they return to Lake Pyaozero to recover before the next run.

The number of brown trout moving between our countries in the Oulanka-Pyaozero watercourse has alarmingly declined since the turn of the millennium. Adult brown trout has become an ever -rarer catch for fishermen and -women along this transboundary water system.

An expert group of Russian and Finnish fisheries scientists and -authorities gathered on the northeastern shore of Lake Pyaozero in autumn 2015 and soon identified the problem.  With the recent increase in net fishing and rising popularity of trolling on Lake Pyaozero, the total fishing mortality of brown trout, including mortality from long-practiced river fishing,  has reached a level where our common natural treasure is headed towards extinction. Unless nothing is done to turn the trend around.

PRO TROUT is a joint effort to make the turn. Just like brown trout, the project is determined to employ the best resources and ideas Russia and Finland have to offer in bringing fishing mortality of brown trout to a level that leads to recovery of the brown trout population and sustainable practice of livelihoods dependent on natural resources of Lake Pyaozero.

"Map of the Oulanka-Pyaozero waterway system where the brown trout lives and crosses the Finnish-Russian border"

Project news

PRO TROUT runs from 01.03.2020 to 31.12.2022.
The project budget is 628 772 €.

Lead partner: Metsähallitus Wildlife Service Finland

Project partners:

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Northern Research Institute of Fisheries PetrSU (SevNIIRH)
Karelia -Sever Tur Ltd.
Non-governmental organization "Baltic Salmon Centre"

External donors:

Municipality of Kuusamo
KYVOK collective of fishing right's owners
Vuotunki collective of fishing right's owners 

 

Our four work packages take complementary measures to improve the state of the native brown trout and the local people's opportunities to run fishery-related businesses sustainably.

LILA - Livelihood from the lakes
In work package LILA, prospective fishing tourism entrepreneurs as well as already operating commercial fishers in the Loukhsky District are contacted and interviewed. A skills development course is tailored to their needs and run over all four seasons, to build up their capacity to plan, start and run new fishing- and nature tourism -based small businesses. The main goal of the course program is to generate a strong knowledge base and support network in sustainable - and at the same time profitable- ways to exploit fish biodiversity of the border area. The course participants also contribute to design of container-based, purpose-built fishing service modules, that they can utilize in their businesses.

CORE - Control and regulations
CORE improves effectiveness of fishing control work and provides fishery management authorities in Russia and Finland with recommendations on how to make fishing regulations better serve sustainable use of fish biodiversity in the border region. Fishing control personnel from both sides of the border will be invited to participate in a series of workshops, where they get to share and hone their skills out in the field, discuss and solve practical problems of their work, and draft a Development Plan for fisheries control and management in Oulanka-Pyaozero transboundary water system in collaboration with fisheries scientists and -officers.

PROZHA - Prospering and profitable kumzha
PRO TROUT runs an awareness campaign directed at those who visit Lake Pyaozero and River Olanga for fishing, to improve their knowledge about the life cycle of brown trout (кумжа, kumzha) and its high vulnerability to net fishing (an illegal practice) in particular. Sustainable ways to fish in Lake Pyaozero and nearby waters are promoted and advertised. Among residents, who fish both for recreation and sustenance, awareness is raised about the economic value of prospering wild brown trout stocks for locally owned, service-oriented fishing-tourism businesses. In addition to electronic and printed media, the message is taken to local events, such as celebrations of the Russian Fisherman's Day (День рыбака) on the second Sunday of July. 

DABA - Downstream across the border alive
In DABA, fisheries scientists investigate survival rates of young brown trout during their riverine life stages. The field experiments, involving both wild-born and hatchery-reared fish, take place in river Kuusinki on a range of brown trout habitats. Survival of the tagged young fish during their downstream migration is followed with automatic acoustic monitoring stations at selected locations in Finland and Russia. The survival rate data are needed for the Oulanka-Pyaozero brown trout population model, to produce reliable estimates of sustainable catch limits of brown trout in Lake Pyaozero and the rest of their habitat range. Estimates of safe annual catch limits based on the population model will be disseminated to the Russian and Finnish authorities responsible for fisheries management and regulation.

Project manager
Raisa Nikula
raisa.nikula@metsa.fi
+358 40 489 4129

Project coordinator
Svetlana Ponomareva
svetaklykva@yandex.ru
+79 21 451 1044, +358 40 960 3027

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