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  02.11.2018, 12:00h

Targeting capture of pike continues

At 11 am on Friday, 2 November 2018, some 30 authorised fishermen gathered at the lower dock under the water mills at Roški slap waterfall for the targeted capture of pike (Esox Lucius), an alien and invasive species

In the 2018 Annual programme for the protection, maintenance, conservation, promotion and use of Krka National Park, and as part of the activities to protect and conserve the flora and fauna of the park, the Public Institute of Krka National Park has envisaged the controlled removal of pike from the Krka River. Following this, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy issued a decision permitting the project partner, the company BIOTA j.d.o.o. and project leader, Dr. Dušan Jelić to use electrofishing as a non-selective method to capture fish in the watercourses of Krka National Park, within the targeted capture of pike.

The first phase of pike capture using fishing gear and electrofishing began on 3 February 2018 in the area of Ćorića Lake and Brljan Lake, and on 4 February 2018 in the area of the Krka monastery. Participants included members of the Krka Knin sports fishing club, staff of the Croatian Agency for the Environment and Nature (HAOP), BIOTA j.d.o.o., Croatian Institute for Biodiversity, and staff of the Public Institute of Krka National Park.

The same participants came out in the second phase of the project, which was held on 2 November on Visovac Lake and between the Među Gredama canyon and the dock at Roški slap.

Pike was introduced into the Krka River from the Danube Basin, and is a predator that presents a great threat for the indigenous fish. There are 30 fish species inhabiting the Krka River, including 10 endemic species, which makes this river a natural monument of the highest category. Endemic species of special importance are the marble trout and Adriatic salmon, while the most abundant fish are the Illyrian chub and brown trout. A specificity of Krka National Park is the presence of two stenoendemic species, these are endemic species with a very narrow distribution range, the Visovac trout and Visovac goby, and their conservation is of the utmost importance, which led to the launch of this pike eradication project. The Croatian Agency for Environment and Nature (HAOP) also gave its expert opinion, concluding that the activities intended to remove pike from the river will not negatively impact populations of strictly protected fish.