Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:368 | Cite as

Reduced Acid Deposition Leads to a New Start for Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) in an Acidified Lake in Southern Norway

  • Espen Lund
  • Øyvind A. Garmo
  • Heleen A. de Wit
  • Torstein Kristensen
  • Kate L. Hawley
  • Richard F. Wright


Acid deposition has led to acidification and loss of fish populations in thousands of lakes and streams in Norway. Since the peak in the late 1970s, acid deposition has been greatly reduced and acidified surface waters have shown chemical recovery. Biological recovery, in particular fish populations, however, has lagged behind. Long-term monitoring of water chemistry and fish populations in Lake Langtjern, south-eastern Norway, shows that around 2008, chemical recovery had progressed to the point at which natural reproduction of brown trout (Salmo trutta) reoccurred. The stocked brown trout reproduced in the period 2008–2014, probably for the first time since the 1960s, but reproduction and/or early life stage survival was very low. The results indicate that chemical thresholds for reproduction in this lake are approximately pH = 5.1, Ali = 26 μg l−1, ANC = 47 μeq l−1, and ANCoaa = 10 μeq l−1 as annual mean values. These thresholds agree largely with the few other cases of documented recovery of brown trout in sites in Norway, Sweden, and the UK. Occurrence and duration of acidic episodes have decreased considerably since the 1980s but still occur and probably limit reproduction success.


Acidification Acid-neutralizing capacity Fish Recovery 



The long-term data series at Langtjern would not have been possible without the enthusiastic and dogged efforts of our emeritus colleagues Arne Henriksen, Magne Grande, and Sigbjørn Andersen and the local help of Kolbjørn Sønsteby.


Monitoring of water chemistry in Lake Langtjern is funded by the Norwegian Environment Agency and, since 2013, also by the Ministry of Climate and Environment through a grant supporting continuation of long time series. This work was funded in part by the Norwegian Research Council project “Lakes in Transition” (244558/E50) and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)OsloNorway
  2. 2.Faculty of Biosciences and AquacultureNord UniversityBodøNorway
  3. 3.Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource ManagementNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway

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