Fisheye is the name of a photographic lens, but also the so-called “fisheye”. Judas – that is, an optical instrument placed in the doorway to provide the onlooker with a wide angle of view. It seems right that every time we touch a topic and explain it to our readers, we should keep just such a wide field of vision that does not limit us to narrow reflections. Therefore, in this issue, whose theme is ichthyofauna, we also highlight the various tasks, responsibilities or privileges given to administration, services and anglers. We also ask them questions about their plans for 2023.

Fish watchdogs

Have you ever wondered who guards the fish that inhabit our rivers and lakes? Is there a fish police force? Well, it exists, and if you haven’t met it yet, it’s mainly because either you’re not interested in fishing or the Fishery Guards are so few in number. The answer to this and other questions about the State Fishery Police, its powers and activities that were carried out last year can be found in the article “Who guards the fish“. It is worth noting that all sixteen provincial units of the Fishery Guards responded to our editorial board’s questions, including the number of fines issued, which makes the picture even more interesting. We also know if anything will change in their operations this year.

What died in the Oder River?

Staying on the topic of fish, we can’t ignore the environmental disaster in the Oder River, which led to massive fish die-offs last August. What did the staff of the Inland Fisheries Institute see on site? What species of dead fish were caught? What effects will the catastrophe have on the Oder River fishery? You can find out all this in this issue of Water Issues from the article “What happened to the fish in the Oder?” In recent days, the Oder disaster was also addressed by the European Commission in a special report. You may not find new threads there, other than those raised in the national report, but you will certainly find interesting information on the vulnerability of European rivers to the risk of a toxic golden algae bloom in the future.

About fishing circuits

Public fishing on rivers and lakes is carried out by users in fishing circuits. How to create a fishing circuit is indicated in the Decree of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of November 12, 2001. On fishing and the conditions for raising, breeding and catching other organisms living in water. A fishing circuit may be established on a canal, river, other watercourse or their sections, on a lake, a group of lakes or other bodies of water with their tributaries (according to the shoreline). This means that the fishing circuit is only waters and does not include adjacent areas.

A fishing district shall be established for a given type of water in which a fish species characteristic of that type of water is present. Such a perimeter also includes areas where spawning is repeated annually and there are places for the development of fry, clustered wintering, residence and movement of fish. Each circuit is given a unique name, usually corresponding to the proper name of the canal, river or other watercourse, lake or other body of water on which it is established. Fishing districts are established by the Governor, through a local act, so anyone can consult their lists.

According to information obtained from the Polish Waters, fisheries management in:

  • 92 circuits are run by Wody Polskie(map),
  • 1017 circuits are run by the Districts of the Polish Angling Association,
  • 930 circuits are run by others (i.e., fishing farms, associations, individuals).

About stocking statistics

Stocking is carried out by users under contracts for the use of fishing circuits. In order to sign a contract, a fishing operation must be drawn up beforehand. Such a document includes, among other things. The manner and conditions of restoration of harvested fish and crayfish resources. What we enter in the operative translates into the provisions of the issued decision. Most often, the list of fish species that we need to introduce into the water will include no more than a few to a dozen species, in different age ranges, and stocking is usually conducted several times a year, in one or different places in the fishing circuit. According to Polish Water’s response, unfortunately there are no statistics on who is stocking, where and when. Perhaps they will be created after the users of the fishing circuits are obliged to report the data, no later than 3 weeks from the date of stocking, which is what the Polish Waterways are aiming for.

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