NatureScot Commissioned Report 976 - Assessing the presence of vendace in Loch Earn 2016
Vendace is the UK’s rarest freshwater fish. To help conserve the species, fry from Bassenthwaite Lake were introduced to Loch Earn in 1989. There were no signs that a vendace population had become established in the loch until an angler caught a single specimen in 2005.
An extensive netting and echo-sounding survey of Loch Earn carried out in 2007 on behalf of NatureScot failed to find any vendace. But, again, in 2012, an angler caught a vendace. No further individuals were subsequently recorded.
We were required to investigate further to verify the presence of vendace in Loch Earn as part of our Habitats Directive reporting duties. A netting survey was carried out in November 2016 and this report presents the results. A single, sexually mature vendace was collected, confirming that Loch Earn has a self-sustaining vendace population.
This vendace population is likely to be small. But locally native fish species – Arctic charr especially – might be adversely affected if numbers increase. The large numbers of spawning Arctic charr found during the 2016 survey suggest that the population is in good condition and isn’t under immediate threat.
The report suggests ways to manage the potential impact on Arctic charr should vendace numbers in Loch Earn increase.
Publication 2017 - NatureScot Commissioned Report 976 - Assessing the presence of vendace in Loch Earn 2016
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