Juvenile Habitats for Lacustrine Brown Trout and Danube Bleak
They are truly extraordinary creatures: the formally royal Lake Trout and the Danube Bleak are naturally only native to lakes in the Alps and alpine foothills. Unfortunately, their populations are endangered. Humans are to blame because they are denying the fish their specific reproduction strategy.
The Academy wants to facilitate this strategy once again by supporting a project on the Lüßbach, a tributary of Lake Starnberg.
The deputy director of the Institute for Fisheries in Starnberg, Dr. Michael Schubert, reports:
“The Lacustrine brown trout (Salmo trutta) and the Danube bleak (Alburnus mento) are naturally only found in alpine or peri-alpine lakes. The latter, which is native only to Chiemsee, Simssee and Lake Starnberg, is listed as a protected species within the EU (FFH Annex II). Bavaria therefore bears a high level of responsibility to ensure the conservation of these two species. Both are highly dependent on suitable spawning and rearing habitats within the lake tributaries. However, these nursery grounds are often blocked by dams and other impassable structures. Based on the results of several studies conducted by university students and supervised by the Institute for Fisheries (IFI) of the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture, the Lüßbach is one of three streams at Lake Starnberg potentially suitable for spawning for both species. In addition to its functional spawning grounds, water discharge and habitat structure offer good environmental conditions for juvenile fish. Unfortunately, the entry to the stream is already cut off approximately 500m from the confluence with the lake by an old, unused weir. Plans and calculations for reestablishing upstream and downstream connectivity have already been prepared and have been discussed with the town of Starnberg, the responsible water authorities, and the landowner. All parties agree about the necessity of the planned measures based on species conservation and the aims of the European Water Framework Directive. Apart from the requirements set by the local authorities, sufficient funding is a prerequisite for the implementation of the project.
Through financial support, the Academy can make a tangible contribution to reconnecting key riverine habitats to the lake for Lacustrine brown trout and Danube bleak and thereby ensure the continued survival of these species within the catchment of Lake Starnberg.”