Hydrobiological Bulletin

, Volume 14, Issue 1–2, pp 12–21 | Cite as

Fishery-aspects of eutrophication

  • J. Willemsen


Eutrophication influences among others food supply, prey catchability, reproduction success, growth and mortality of fish. The first stages of eutrophication are favourable for many fish species. Proceeding eutrophication interferes so strongly with the environment that fish is brought in a vulnerable position: vegetation, which is a prerequisite for a number of species, disappears; oxygen depletion near the bottom affects fish food organisms; turbidity hampers catchability of preyfish and decomposition of dead phytoplankton or vegegation may especially at the end of the summer result in lethal oxygen contents. Hence at higher eutrophic levels the fish population surpasses the optimum and decreases again. These optima vary with the species; for the most important species the sequence from oligotrophic to hypertrophic is: 1. Coregonids and Salmondis, 2. pike, 3. roach and perch, 4. pikeperch, 5. bream. Hence the fish populations of very turbid hypertrophic waters are dominated by bream and pikeperch. This population will furthermore usually consist of smaller quantities of eel, smelt, ruffe and white bream. The total fish population in such a hypertrophic water is considerably larger than in a oligotrophic or mesotrophic lake. The vulnerability of the fish community, however, has increased too. In the hypertrophic situation the oxygen supply is the weak spot and every interfering negative influence, as for example sewage discharge, may have disastrous consequences. The many severe fish mortalities prove this to be a real danger.


Fish Population Disastrous Consequence Fish Mortality Total Fish Sewage Discharge 
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Copyright information

© Netherlands Hydrobiological Society 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Willemsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for Fishery InvestigationsIjmuidenThe Netherlands

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