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Fish stocks in the Czech Republic

Trout Way project, Czech Republic. Helping to increase salmonid numbers in the River Strela.

The Czech environment agency says that water quality across all the country's rivers has improved considerably over the past 20 years thanks to better wastewater treatment. This has paved the way for the reintroduction of several local fish species into the country’s waterways.

Against this backdrop, Veolia decided it would like to join the Trout Way project, designed primarily to promote the return of salmonids to the rivers of the Czech Republic. This five-year project, launched in 2011, has run in partnership with Freshwater Giants, a nonprofit organization founded by Jakub Vágner. Early results were highly positive. During the two initial project phases, 3 metric tons of fish were released into the Strela, a river in western Bohemia. A monitoring drive by local anglers showed that over 60% of the reintroduced fish survived, higher than the more usual 40% or so. Scheduled periods when fishing is prohibited allow fish time to adapt and reproduce.

Widely praised by local government and the media, the success of the program has helped to improve the ecological status of the country’s rivers, with knock-on benefits to local communities, primarily via enhanced tourism and leisure opportunities.