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LVM Tērvete Reservoir supplemented with 1,300 carp younglings

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At the end of October, LVM Tērvete Reservoir was supplemented with an impressive carp stock – 1,300 fish fingerlings. LVM expert Kristaps Didže explains: “In order to make sure that carps successfully breed, they require very specific circumstances – low water level, temperature, which do not exactly comply with carp needs in this reservoir. For a long time LVM Tērvete Reservoir had carps, which is why this reservoir has become a popular place among fishermen”. But how exactly does a carp turn from a fish to a commodity?

From spawn to "commodity"

Winners of Mammadaba twitter competition, together with JSC “Latvian State Forests” expert Kristaps Didže, visited the LLC “Zive” fish hatchery in order to find out everything about the fish breeding process. The hatchery breeds pikes, zanders, catfish, and also carps, which are a very demanded product.

The breeding process begins at spawn ponds, where two carp females and four males are released for a couple of weeks. During spawning, a female can spawn up to 300,000 eggs at a time. After a couple of weeks, the ponds are drained, and baby fish are released in a summer pond or a shallow pasture pond, which is fenced off with a dam from June to autumn. One-summer carp weighs about 25-30 grams, this is required for the fish to better ensure enduring the cold. In autumn, the water level is gradually lowered with the help of a dam, the fish are carefully collected and moved to a winter pond. They are equipped with canals 2.5–3 meters deep in order to make sure that the fish are warm and provided with oxygen. Other ponds, while fishless, are drained and left to freeze during the winter, thus, a number of harmful infections are eliminated. Every year, hatcheries are visited by representatives of the Food and Veterinary Service of Latvia (FVS) to make sure that they comply with the law. In the spring, these fingerlings are again moved to summer ponds, where they grow as big and strong as possible, reaching 400–700 grams in weight, in order to be ready for survival in the wild.

Sometimes a hatchery can lose up to 50% of fingerlings, as they are preyed upon by various birds and animals, such as, ospreys, gray herons, otters, American minks. Over the last couple of years, damage to the cormorant species is becoming an increasing problem. The vicinity of “Zive” hatcheries is populated by eight ospreys, who each hunt down up to 1.5 kg of fish every day.

“There has been a funny case of herons arriving to feed, and employees are driving around and making noise to scare them away. This works only for a day, as on the next one, they come back with a new strategy – they no longer fly in groups, but spread out by each pond. Then we become powerless,” says Anatolijs Prokopčiks, the head of LLC “Zive”.

Visit at the hatchery ends with placing of carp fingerlings in special tanks in order to transport to LVM Tērvete Reservoir.

After warming up with some tea, we continue our way to the picturesque Tērvete Reservoir to finish an important chores – to release carp fingerlings into wild waters.

 

Large carp catches at LVM Tērvete Reservoir

“Not all fish will live – the weakest will be eaten by pikes, but the healthiest ones will reach up to 17 kilograms in weight. This summer, a fisherman caught a fish 11 kilograms in weight in one catch,” says Kristaps Didže. The reservoir has been visited by 9,000 people this year so far – mostly fishermen from Latvia and Lithuania, but the reservoir's cabins are also used by visitors at LVM Nature Park in Tērvete. Boat docks remain open also during the winter period, which is why other sportsmen have an opportunity to fish also in winter.

 

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JSC Latvian State Forests is in charge of five reservoirs – the carp-filled Tērvete Reservoir, Lielauce and Kaņieris lakes which are home to perches, pikes, and tenches, Zebrus Lake which is home to zanders and Ray's breams, and the perch-filled Gulbji Lake. All reservoirs have no specific visiting hours, as no one can command a fish when to eat, therefore, when planning a visit, one must take into account not only the business hours of boat docks, but also the number of vacant cabins. There could be situations in summertime months when all boats are booked also in the middle of the day, therefore, it would be best to book a boat or cabin in advance.

Picture gallery:

 

 

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