Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits lakes. Juveniles feed on zooplankton. Adults prey on zooplankton and fish, mainly Alburnus scoranza. Attains first sexual maturity at 5-6 years. Spawns in January-February in littoral and sublittoral areas (Ref. 59043). Threatened by habitat destruction, overfishing and introduction of new species (Ref. 26100).
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Distribution

Range Description

It is restricted to Ohrid lake in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
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Europe: Eastern shore of Lake Ohrid, Macedonia.
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Lake Ohrid, Macedonia.
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Physical Description

Size

Max. size

76.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 6323)); max. published weight: 6,490 g (Ref. 4699)
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Diagnostic Description

Distinguished from all its congeners in Balkan Peninsula by the combination of the following characters: lacustrine; size reaches up to at least 60 cm SL; in large adults, head and body silvery, with black spots, especially in upper part, red spots (when present) mainly along lateral line; flesh pinkish. Can be diagnosed from at least Salmo balcanicus and Salmo aphelios by its osteological characters (Ref. 59043). (Ref. 59043).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It lives at depths of 60–80 m within the lake. Spawning season is in January-February. This trout makes up the bulk of catches of salmonid in the Albanian waters of Ohrid lake.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater
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Trophic Strategy

Feeds on fish and invertebrates (Ref. 26100).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

A single spawner (Ref. 58388).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Crivelli, A.J.

Reviewer/s
Freyhof, J. & Mrakovcic, M. (Mediterranean Workshop, Dec. 2004)

Contributor/s

Justification
Taxonomy needs to be confirmed using molecular data. There is also little information on abundance, trend and threats.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
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Population

Population
No data.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Water pollution, hybridization.
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
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Wikipedia

Ohrid trout

Ohrid trout[1][2] or the Lake Ohrid brown trout[3] (Salmo letnica) is an endemic species of trout in Lake Ohrid and in its tributaries and outlet, the Black Drin river, in the Republic of Macedonia and Albania in the Balkans. Locally the fish is known as охридска пастрмка (ohridska pastrmka) in Macedonian and koran/korani in Albanian.

Taxonomy[edit]

Ohrid trout is part of the brown trout complex, and therefore its taxonomic status is controversial.[3] It has however been deemed to be genetically sufficiently distinct to be regarded as a distinct species for conservation arguments.[4]

Subdivision of the Ohrid trout[edit]

Within the Ohrid trout itself, up to four intralacustrine forms have been separated, which are treated as distinct species in the FishBase and by the IUCN. Morphological or molecular data so far do not support this division however.[2][3][4] These forms are characterized by different breeding areas and different breeding times, by which they are thought to be reproductively isolated from each other. The four forms or species include:

  • Salmo balcanicus, breeds in the outlet of the lake in its NW end, in October–January; possibly extinct.
  • Salmo lumi, breeds in January–February in the tributaries of the lake.
  • Salmo aphelios, breeds in May–July near springs of the eastern shore of the lake.
  • Salmo letnica, breeds in January–February.[1]

In addition to the Ohrid trout, Lake Ohrid has another endemic and truly distinct salmonid, Salmo ohridanus.[3]

Fisheries and gastronomy[edit]

The Ohrid trout is a specialty in Macedonian and Albanian gastronomy; it is used for soups and other dishes. It tastes like a brown trout crossed with an atlantic salmon.

In recent years extensive fishing has driven the Ohrid trout to the verge of extinction,[5] though there are several conservation activities. A fishing ban has been imposed by the Government of Macedonia, since 2004 and until 2014. In Albania, since 2003 the state law on fisheries prohibits fishing during the spawning period only,[6][7] but no restrictions exist for the rest of the year, and the fish population is still dwindling due to illegal fishing and overfishing.[8]

The Ohrid trout is depicted on the reverse of the Macedonian 2 denars coin, issued in 1993.[9]

Vlasina Lake[edit]

The Ohrid trout has been successfully translocated to and bred in the Vlasina Lake in Serbia, during the 1950s and 1960s; current population status is unknown.[10] The first lots of Ohrid trout (Salmo trutta (m) lacustris L.) were introduced in the newly formed Vlasina reservoir in 1953, when around 500,000 fish were transferred. The Ohrid trout was the dominant species in the lake at the time, but then lost its position during the 1980s, because the breeding program was discontinued, and because of failure of natural spawning due to water level variations related to working schedules of the hydroelectric plant, Vrla. Some fish still spawn successfully in the flooded tributaries of the lake. During the 1990s bleak (Alburnus alburnus) and roach (Rutilus rutilus) from Lake Ohrid were introduced into Vlasina as food for the Ohrid trout. Also a yearly program of artificial spawning and conservation efforts started.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2010). "Salmo letnica" in FishBase. February 2010 version.
  2. ^ a b Crivelli, A.J. 2006. Salmo letnica. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1 Downloaded on 20 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Lake Ohrid trouts Balkan trout restoration group. Downloaded on 20 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b Suśnik S, Snoj A, Wilson I, Mrdak D, Weiss S (2007) Historical demography of brown trout (Salmo trutta) in the Adriatic drainage including the putative S. letnica endemic to Lake Ohrid. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 44(1), 63-76. (abstract)
  5. ^ "Fossil Trout" Faces Extinction in Balkans, Experts Warn National Geographic News (2003)
  6. ^ http://www.monstersandcritics.com/science/features/article_1412208.php/Fishing_ban_finally_gives_Ohrid_trout_a_lease_on_life
  7. ^ http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/7/5347/2010/bgd-7-5347-2010.pdf [page 19 of 36 (type 5365)]
  8. ^ ALBANIA PILOT FISHERY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, page 2
  9. ^ National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonian currency: Coins in circulation. – Retrieved on 30 March 2009.
  10. ^ Vlasinsko jezero www.loviribolov.org
  11. ^ Vlasinsko Jezero solair.eunet.rs
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