Most central of the European states, the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic (once known as the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic) is landlocked, surrounded by six other countries. Politically, it is divided into two republics: the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Its three major physiographic regions, Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia, encompass an essentially mountainous, forested and agricultural area which has become one of the most industrialized sections of Eastern Europe.
The headwaters of rivers draining northwards to the Baltic and North Seas, it also drains south to the Black Sea via its boundary stream, the Danube.
Lacking marine waters, with few natural lakes, no great development of large reservoirs, and with heavy demands upon its rivers, Czechoslovakia's principal concentration with respect to fish production lies in aquaculture. Here, a 700-year tradition continues with emphasis on carp culture but with a growing involvement with other species, including trout.
Commercial fishing is fast diminishing in importance, being replaced by recreational fishing for both warm-water and salmonoid species.
|1.||AREA:||127 900 km21|
1 Czech Republic has an area of 78 864 km2; Slovak Republic has an area of 49 036 km2
|2.||POPULATION:||15 829 000 (est. 1990)||Density: 124 inh/km2|
Landlocked in eastern central Europe, Czechoslovakia lies between 47°43' and 51°03'N latitudes and 12°05' and 22°34'E longitudes.
Its greatest length (E–W) is 752 km, and it varies in width from 97 to 280 km. Its highest point is 2 655 m; its lowest is 163 m.
It is bounded by six countries: the German Democratic Republic for 459 km on the northwest, the Federal Republic of Germany for 356 km on the southwest, Poland for 1 310 km on the north, Austria for 570 km and Hungary for 679 km on the south, and the USSR for 98 km on the east2.
2 Boundaries from Worldmark (1984)
Czechoslovakia is a mosaic of hills and depressions with some high peripheral mountains. Uplands (200–600 m) occupy about 70 percent of the country, mountains (above 600 m) occupy about 20 percent, and lowlands only about 10 percent.
The country can be divided into three major regions: the Bohemian Plateau in the northwest, mountainous Slovakia in the east, and the transitional Moravian Lowland between them.
Bohemia, occupying two-fifths of the country, is a gently rolling plateau, mainly between 450 and 600 m, almost encircled by densely forested mountains up to about 900 m. It is rimmed by the higher Sudeten Mountains on the northeast, the Ore Mountains on the northwest, the Bohemian Forest and Sumava mountains on the southwest, and the less prominent Moravian Hills on the southeast. Crystalline rocks predominate.
Slovakia, the eastern two-fifths of the country, has areas of rich lowland in the south, but most of its central and northern extent is dominated by parallel ridges of the rugged Carpathian arc of crystalline slates and limestones. These include the somewhat central Low Tatras and the High Tatras which rise above 2 000 m and are shared with Poland. It is drained primarily by tributaries of the Danube River.
Spanning central Czechoslovakia between these two major regions, is the smaller Moravian corridor, a hilly tectonic depression open to the north and south. Sloping generally south, it is dissected by the Morava and its tributaries to drain into the Danube. It also has a northerly drainage, the Oder, toward the Baltic.
Mixed deciduous and coniferous forests cover 35 percent of the country. Above the treeline (1 200–1 500 m), alpine meadows and moors predominate. At lower altitudes, spruce, beech, fir, oak, maple, ash and other species occupy the forest zone. In lowlands steppe-type vegetation predominates.
Soils are varied: 50 percent podzols, 20 percent brown soils, 10 percent chernozems, and some stony mountain, alluvial, humus-carbonate, and peat soils.
The western part of the country is more urban and industrial than the mountainous Carpathian area.
The temperate climate is transitional: continental climate prevails, but the western area shows a maritime influence.
The mean annual temperature of 9°C varies from -3.7°C in the highlands to 10.5°C in the Danube lowlands. The July mean is 20°C and winter mean about -2.2°C.
The average annual precipitation is 742 mm, averaging about 865 mm in high areas and 610 mm in low areas, with a country-wide range from 450 to 1 500 mm. Its seasonal distribution is about as follows: 24 percent spring, 38 percent summer, 23 percent autumn, and 15 percent winter. The maximum rainfall is in July, the minimum in January.
Snow cover lasts generally for 70–80 days, and the mountains are snow-covered from early November through April. Snow persists all year in some high places in the Tatras.
The growing season is about 200 days in the southern regions and less than 100 days in the mountains.
5. HYDROGRAPHY AND LIMNOLOGY
The total area of Czechoslovakia's inland waters is about 248 956 ha or about 1.9 percent of the total area of the country. Of this area of inland waters, 154 905 ha are in Bohemia and Moravia and 94 051 ha in Slovakia (Czechoslovakia/EIFAC, 1989). See also Table 3.
These figures, which emanated from a statistical yearbook (1988) of the Federative Republic agree generally with the figures in Table 3 (which are rounded). I have found some other, rather puzzling, enumerations, but of these only the ones in printed form (and thus readily available to the public) are mentioned below:
There are some obvious mistakes in the four estimates given above. For example, FAO (1979) has misread the manuscript upon which it was based (Anon. 1979) and mistakenly substituted the manuscript's figure for the area of its country's running waters for that of its natural lakes1. All in all, I consider the figure of 248 956 ha for the extent of inland waters in Czechoslovakia to be the most accurate available.
1 Although Anon. (1979) is really the manuscript used as the basis for FAO (1979), an FAO Fishery Country Profile, I have used it here as the major reference because of its direct emanation from someone in Czechoslovakia
The average annual runoff from rainfall on Czechoslovakian soil is 220 mm or 28 000 million m3. About 62 000 million m3 is received annually from upstream countries, resulting in a total annual river discharge of 90 000 million m3 leaving the country (Van der Leeden, 1975; ECE, 1978).
Czechoslovakia is the headwater area of several of the major watersheds of Europe. Overall, about 54 percent of its surface water drains into the Black Sea via the Danube and its tributaries, 39 percent drains into the North Sea via the Elbe Basin, and 7 percent drains into the Baltic via the Oder and Vistula basins.
5.1 Rivers (Řeky)
Bohemia constitutes a hydrographic unit with a centripetal pattern around the Vltava-Elbe. Moravia forms a distinct hydrographic region with an axis along the Morava River. Slovakia is drained primarily by tributaries of the Danube, but these do not represent a unit as many flow parallel in their upper courses and converage near their confluence. Most Bohemian and Moravian rivers follow turbulent middle courses, tending to flow in narrow gorge-like valleys. The Danubian tributaries are generally rapid, carrying sediments which create large alluvial fans and form obstacles to navigation.
With the exception of the Danube, the rivers have a maximum runoff in the spring following snowmelt and a summer minimum. The Elbe, for example, varied between 1 907 and 121 m3/sec. in 1968 (Van der Leeden, 1975), and the ratio of minimum to maximum flow of some Czechoslovakian streams can approximate 1 to 250. The Danube, which is fed by Alpine snow, has a marked summer maximum. Only six Czechoslovakian rivers have a mean annual flow of over 100 m3/sec., and only the Danube has a really large flow. See Table 1 for length of the principal rivers, and Table 2 for the flow of three principal rivers.
Danube. The Czechoslovakian section of this river (the Dunaj in Czech) is 172 km in length, from the mouth of the Morava River to the mouth of the Ipel. It is shared with Austria and Hungary as a boundary.
At the Morava junction, it leaves the slopes of the Alps and enters the Danube or Hungarian Plain. It has already become a great river, carrying only about twice as much water at maximum as in the minimum months of flow, and when it leaves Czechoslovakia the flow is about 50 percent greater on the average. Such an increase in flow is probably largely responsible for the finding that in recent years the quality of water in the Czechoslovakian section of the Danube has not changed much, and is actually purer than the water entering from Austria (Tržilova and Miklošovičova, 1977).
Soon after entering Czechoslovakia, the Danube splits into two channels. The southern is the Danube proper, the northern is called the Little Danube (Maly Dunaj). The Little Danube joins the Vah near where the latter meets the main Danube. Between the two is marshland and diked channels.
About 70 km below the Morava (i.e., 1 880 km above its mouth at the Black Sea), the river has broken its slope and become more of a plains river. Busnita (1967) considers that most of the Danube from the 1 791-km mark to its mouth is a cyprinid zone. At one time this lower area of the Czechoslovakian river had many arms, swamps, and side lakes. During the last century, man has reclaimed much of this area, but it still remains productive for fish.
The main channel of the Morava-Ipel section measures (7 937 ha and the area of river arm beds situated along both sides (i.e., Czechoslovakia on the north, Hungary on the south) totals 3 114 ha. The area of more or less regularly inundated plain, demarcated with flood dams, is about 7 km in width at its upper end, 1.5 km at its lower end, and totals about 23 000 km2 in area (Holčik and Bastl, 1976).
Throughout the section, the river has a velocity of about 2.0–2.5 m/sec., and a flow at its upper end from about 1 400 to 2 700 m3/sec. For further details on the Danube, see especially the chapters on Austria and Hungary.
Principal rivers of Czechoslovakia
|Basin and river||Length in|
|Elbe (Labe) Basin|
|Oder (Odra) Basin|
|Vistula (Visla) Basin|
|Danube (Dunaj) Basin|
Source: Melezin (1957)
Tributaries of the Danube. Proceeding downstream, the first Czechoslovakian tributary of the Danube is the Morava, a boundary stream with Austria (where it is called the March) for 80 km. With a total length of 365 km, it drains four-fifths of Moravia. The other major tributaries drain western Slovakia, flowing generally southward from the Tatras. The Vah (Waag) is 391 km long with an average discharge of 158 m3/sec. Below it are the Nitra, Hron and Ipel, the latter a boundary stream with Hungary where it is called the Ipoly.
Elbe. Almost all of Bohemia is drained by the Elbe (called Labe in Czech). Rising in the Sudeten Mountains, it is joined by the 430-km Vltava (Moldau) near Prague. Also collecting water from the Ohre River, it proceeds through a narrow gap to enter the German Democratic Republic as a major stream and proceed through it and the Federal Republic of Germany to its mouth on the North Sea. The total length of the Elbe is 1 137 km of which 364 km is in Czechoslovakia.
Oder. The Oder (Odra in Czech) rises in northern Czechoslovakia and flows through Poland (that country's second largest river) to its mouth in the Baltic in the German Democratic Republic, a journey of 906 km.
Discharge of three rivers in Czechoslovakia
|River and station||Mean monthly discharge, m3/sec|
|Elbe (Labe) River Decin||287||392||550||496||305||247||249||198||195|
|Morava River, Moravsky Jan||101||135||216||187||117||84.2||76.0||65.7||66.7|
|Danube River, Bratislava||1 419||1 635||2 096||2 385||2 486||2 746||2 725||2 250||1 733|
|Oct.||Nov.||Dec.||Year||Period of record|
|Danube River||1 525||1 517||1 402||1 993||1931–60|
Source: Unesco (1969)
Vistula (Visla in Czech) drainage. The Poprad River, rising in the High Tatras of Slovakia drains only a small area of Czechoslovakia, through which it flows for 108 km to join the Vistula (Wisla) in Poland which proceeds for 1 047 km to the Baltic Sea.
5.2 Lakes (Jezera)
The statement by Anon. (1979) that Czechoslovakia has 350 ha of natural lakes, almost exclusively small and oligotrophic, the best estimate available to the author, probably refers to glacial or cirque lakes in the mountains. These glacial lakes include the Certovo and Cerne Jezero in the Sumava Mountains of Bohemia, and Strbske and Propradske Pleso in the Carpathians. A complex of small lakes is found in central Bohemia in the area of the Trebon and Budejovice basins. These occupy small kettlelike depressions in heavy clay deposits; many serve as fish ponds.
Some literature indicates that Czechoslovakia has a large number of “lakes” (e.g., a travel book by Fodor, 1983, alludes to 22 000 “lakes” in the country). Such statements undoubtedly refer to fish ponds, some of which have been established for hundreds of years and are well integrated with ecological consistency, creating a pleasant landscape.
5.3 Reservoirs (Vōdni Nādrže)
There are 25 543 ha of “man-made lakes” which are not fish ponds (Anon., 1979). Some of these exist as a series of dams, e.g., those on the Vltava near Prague. The largest reservoir, Orlik, has a capacity of 720 million m3.
It has been estimated (ECE, 1978) that by the year 2000, Czechoslovakia will increase its storage volume in reservoirs by 250 percent.
6. LAND AND WATER USE
Czechoslovakia is essentially an urban (68 percent) and industrial country, but with over half its land devoted to agriculture mainly on collective and State farms. Cereals, sugar beets, and potatoes are major crops, and livestock farming is the most important element. Although introduced here many years ago, given the country's climatic conditions, irrigation is a relatively minor use of water, only about 2 percent of the land being irrigated (1986). Fertilizer use is almost twice the European average.
Pattern of land use in Czechoslovakia, 1986
|Arable and permanent crops||40.2|
|Forests and woodland||36.0|
Source: 1987 FAO Prod.Yearb., 41 (Publ. 1988)
The country is well forested and ranks about seventh in roundwood production in Europe. Forest care is good and watersheds preserved, although mismanagement some years ago led to irregularities in stream flow and erosion, and what is thought to be acid rain is affecting its trees.
Its large-scale industries are dependent upon its important resources of coal and lignite. However, many of the country's environmental problems stem from its use of lignite with a high sulphur content. Its output of oil and ferrous ores is inadequate for domestic use, most non-ferrous ores are limited, and it lacks fertilizer minerals. Ceramic minerals, mercury, antimony, and uranium are mined.
Industry, which is mostly concentrated in the west, employs about half of the working population. Machinery, steel, armaments, textiles, glass and china, chemicals, beer, and clothing are major products.
Czech legislation (1973) requires that agricultural and forested land be used so that both water quantity and quality are improved. Nevertheless, pollution is a grave problem in Czechoslovakia, especially with intense water use. Industrial, agricultural, and sewage wastes are all important.
In 1987, Czechoslovakia's total installed electrical capacity was 21 017 000 kW, of which 2 890 000 kW (13.7 percent) was hydroelectric and 3 520 000 kW was nuclear. Its heavy dependence on thermal power (69 percent) is a reflection both of its fossil fuel resources and the relative difficulty of developing hydropower on its streams. Irregularities in seasonal flow and winter icing limit its use. Although Czechoslovakia plans to produce 50 percent of its power by the year 2000 through nuclear means, the potential for hydropower is still open and may well be used.
Czechoslovakia has good internal transportation by rail and road with a road density in 1989 of about 0.6 km/km2. Passenger car ownership, however, is low, only about 166 vehicles per 1 000 circa 1989. It also has about 480 km of navigable waters, mainly on the Danube, Elbe, Vlatava, Oder and Morava. Linkage is therefore made with the Black Sea, the Baltic and the North Sea. By lesser standards, waters such as the Vah, Hron, Orava, Kysuca and Poprad are also used, e.g., to float logs. The systems are not linked by canals. Transport on the Elbe and Danube is interrupted by ice six to eight weeks of the year.
Industry uses by far the greater share of surface water, perhaps seven times as much as domestic supply or agriculture. Ground water is extensively used for drinking purposes, lessening the demands for use of surface water.
Commercial capture fisheries are almost non-existent; aquaculture is a much more important industry (see section 7). FAO (1979) states that the country's primary sector of fisheries employed 1 462 people in 1977 and the secondary sector 2 220, including research workers. The per caput consumption of fish is rather low. Excluding fish caught by angling, it is 6.6 kg annually, 5.5 kg sea fish and 1.1 kg freshwater fish (Anon., 1982).
Tourism is important. About 19 million foreigners visited the country in 1986. Spas are world famous and wide spread, and their development as well as that of ski resorts also attracts anglers.
7. FISH AND FISHERIES
There are about 70 species of inland fishes in Czechoslovakia of which 17 are exotic. In the Czechoslovakian Danube alone, Busnita (1967) lists 54 species in 14 families. Of these, about eight families are of commercial importance. Genera found in this Danubian section during both summer and winter include: Esox, Abramis, Alburnus, Aspius, Leuciscus, Rutilus, Scardinius, Perca, Gymnocephalus, and Stizostedion. Many of the streams of Czechoslovakia are trout waters with good populations of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and grayling (Thymallus thymallus) and small but prized populations of the giant huchen (Hucho hucho). However, small cyprinids prevail in most open waters, constituting about 80 percent of the fish stocks (Anon. 1988). Other fishes, including the introduced ones, will be discussed below.
Table 4 contains the official catch statistics for 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980–87 compiled by FAO from data furnished by the Government of Czechoslovakia. No distinction is made here between fish derived from capture fisheries and those by aquaculture, but main portion actually represents cultivated fish. The totals also include angler catches1. Some examples to prove this reasoning follow.
1 For example, note the very close correspondence of the catch statistics in Table 4 for 1977 with the following statement by Anon. (1979): “The catch of fish…in 1977 reached 17 958 t. Most part was produced by the State Fishery which supplied 14 464 t while angler's catch was 3 492 t”. Compare also, the returns for 1985 for Tables 4 and 6
Europa (for example, 1974, 1982 and 1988) provides essentially the same figures as in Table 4 for the 1970–85 period, although distinguishing only between carp and other fishes. It states that its figures apply only to fish “caught” by the State Fisheries and members of the Czech and Slovak fishing unions. For example, of the total “catch”, the amount in tons taken from State Fisheries fish ponds was: 10 735 (1970); 11 114 (1971), and 12 306 (1972). This may indicate that in each of these years about 3 000 t originated from a capture fishery and, indeed, Czechoslovakia/EIFAC (1989) states that the State Fisheries “produced” (i.e., cultured) its fish and that the Unions “caught” their fish.
Another series of figures is presented by Vacek (1983) who listed the “total fish production…for human consumption” in Czechoslovakia during the 1953–78 period. He specified that: “In (such) published data, the catch by anglers is not given because this catch and consumption are outside the marketplace”. The indication is that all of these fish are pond-reared, species not specified. All of his figures will not be repeated here since they are generally close to those listed for carp “catches” in Table 4, but for comparative purposes a few are listed below.
|Year||Total fish (t)|
(Table 4, FAO)
|1965||8 890||9 000|
|1970||10 454||11 300|
|1975||13 631||13 818|
|1978||13 470||13 886|
Another set of comparisons to be made is presentation of a set of figures by Berka (1982) showing “fish production” in Czechoslovakia by the entire country and its two Republics in 1975 and 1980 (see Table 5). Czechoslovakia/EIFAC (1989) states that the “production” from “streams and dam lakes” is actually from angling.
Similarly, Table 6, based on data from the official Czechoslovakian statistical yearbook for 1988, shows both aquacultural production and angling catch in Czechoslovakia during the 1983–85 period. In transmitting this table to FAO/EIFAC, Czechoslovakia/EIFAC (1989) termed the production from aquaculture “market fish only”, and stated that “no fish (shown in the table) originated from commercial capture fisheries.”
Nominal catches by species in the inland waters of Czechoslovakia, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980–87 (in tons)
|1965||9 000||-||-||-||1 800||200||11 000|
|1970||11 300||-||-||-||1 900||200||13 400|
|1975||13 818||-||-||-||2 613||509||16 940|
|1980||12 295||-||-||-||2 744||918||15 957|
|1981||12 816||-||-||-||2 763||924||16 503|
|1982||14 351||-||-||-||2 842||848||18 041|
|1983||15 618||-||-||-||3 020||887||19 525|
|1984||15 700||-||-||-||2 941||1 047||19 688|
|1985||16 110||483||309||188||1 822||1 062||20 034|
|1986||17 049||378||375||183||2 156||1 112||21 253|
|1987||16 652||419||357||183||2 062||1 063||20 736|
Source: 1965 and 1970 - Yearb.Fish.Stat.FAO, 36 (Publ. 1974)
1975, 1980, 1981 - FAO Fish.Dept.Fishery Statistical Database (FISHDAB)
1982–87 - Yearb.Fish.Stat.FAO, 64 (Publ. 1989)
Fish production in Czechoslovakia in 1975 and 1980 (in tons)
|Fish from ponds||Czech Republic||12 575||12 778|
|Czechoslovakia||12 958||13 349|
From other culture facilities
From streams and dam lakesa
|Czech Republic||2 096||2 445|
|Slovak Republic||1 198||1 558|
|Czechoslovakia||3 294||4 003|
|Total||Czecho Republic||14 995||15 751|
|Slovak Republic||1 638||2 249|
|Czechoslovakia||16 633||18 000|
a Angling catch
Source: Berka (1982)
Aquacultural production and angling catch in Czechoslovakia, 1983–85 (in tons)
|Aquaculture||14 245||14 654||15 009|
|Angling||5 280||5 034||5 025|
|Total||19 525||19 688||20 034|
|Individual species of fish|
|Carp||15 582||15 700||16 110|
|Trout||887||1 047||1 062|
|Other fishes||2 077||2 020||1 883|
Source: Czechoslovakia/EIFAC (1989)
Finally, Table 7, constituting part of a national report from Czechoslovakia presented to EIFAC, shows both aquacultural production and angler's catch in Czechoslovakia during 1986. Anon. (1988) states that similar data for 1987 would hardly differ.
Aquacultural production and angling catch in Czechoslovakia, 1986 (in tons)
|Common carp||Tench||Phytophagous fishesa||Pike||Pikeperch||Coregonids||Rainbow troutb||Total|
State Fisheries Czech Republic
|13 292||303||508||32||9||328||593||15 065|
State Fisheries Slovak Republicc
School Fish Farm Fishery School
Other producers (estimated)
|Total||14 724||350||537||35||10||349||691||16 696|
|Angling in Open Waters|
|Czech Anglers Union||2 304||62||15||216||105||2||105||2 809|
|Slovak Anglers Union||1 036||13||10||127||69||1||237||1 493|
|Total||3 340||75||25||343||174||3||342||4 302|
|Grand Total||18 064||425||562||378||184||352||1 033||20 998|
a According to Anon. (1979) the “herbivorous species” are grass carp, silver carp and bighead. Vacek (1983) indicates that these are the three major “phytophagous fish”
b Although the rainbow trout is the principal salmonid to be cultivated in Czechoslovakia, it seems doubtful to me that it is the principal one caught by anglers.
c Data for 1985
Source: Basic data from Table 1 in Anon. (1988), modified from information furnished by Czechoslovakia/EIFAC (1989)
It can only be said that apart from relatively small differences or errors in some of the reports referred to above, that language differences in expression of the items involved make comparisons difficult. The key to this puzzle is that various reports from Czechoslovakia which are written in English speak of “market fish” which FAO and others have considered to be “commercially caught fish”. Comparable English-language terms for “market fish” would be “fish of economic importance” or all those “used” by man. In Czechoslovakia, as in Hungary, the term “market fish” may also apply to sport fish. Similarly, much of the data emanating from Czechoslovakia in English uses the term “production” to include both aquacultural production and the catch made by capture fisheries.
As will be seen below, it will be quite clear that the greatest quantity of fish originating in Czechoslovakia is produced in ponds (aquacultural production), and the next greatest amount taken by angling. During the past decade, no fish have been considered in official Czechoslovakian statistics as being “commercially” caught.
7.1 Capture Fisheries
7.1.1 Commercial fishing
As has been indicated above, there is now no recognized commercial fishing in Czechoslovakia. However, in the past most of the commercial catch was derived from the Danube, its overflow waters, and the mouths of its tributaries.
Busnita (1967) stated that the catch in the main stem of the Czechoslovakian Danube was 350 t annually. Holčik and Bastl (1977) list smaller annual catches from the 172-km Czechoslovakian Danube and the mouths of its tributaries during the 1954–57 and 1961–75 periods; they range from a low of 61.6 t in 1955 to a high of 280.7 t in 1967. The total yield from this section in 1975 was 173.2 t. Their figures are said to represent the combined catch of both commercial and sport fishermen (the latter based on estimates until 1975), and must be considered approximate.
Anon. (1982) states that the annual commercial harvest from open waters in Czechoslovakia is about 100 t taken by the Czech and Slovak Anglers Unions. Although these “unions” or associations are primarily for anglers, some professional fishermen are employed within their frame, especially on the Danube (Anon., 1979). Vacek (1983) states that only about 60–70 t are taken annually through net fishing.
7.1.2 Sport fishing
Recreational fishing in Czechoslovakia is in the domain of the special interest social organizations, the Czech and Slovak Angler's Unions. It occurs in rivers, canals, natural lakes, and manmade lakes with emphasis today on the latter waters.
Anon. (1982) has stated that the Angler's Unions are active on more than 72 000 ha of “open waters (water courses, lakes)” and also manage 25 000 ha of reservoirs. Anon. (1982) also stated that the length of the river network managed by these Unions is 100 000 km, and that they use a pond area of 3 550 ha to raise fish for stocking both trout and coarse fishing districts. They also produce some salmonids for marketing according to FAO (1979). Vacek (1983) indicates that most of the fishery exploitation of running waters and artificial lakes lies essentially with the Angler's Unions who use 71 500 ha of such waters out of a total of 83 170 ha.
Havelka (1972) stated that the annual catch by anglers from “flowing waters managed by fish farmers and anglers amounted to about 2 000 t (ca. 65 kg/ha or 14 kg/angler)”. Czechoslovakia/EIFAC (1975) also gave the annual yield to anglers as more than 2 000 t. By 1977, according to Anon. (1979) the angler's annual catch was 3 492 t or about 16 kg/angler, and Vacek (1983) states that statistics of the Angler's Unions indicate a total catch of 3 500 t by Czechoslovakian anglers in 1978, an increase of about 30 percent from 1970. Anon. (1982) which listed the angler's catch as about 3 000 t annually, gave the average annual catch per angler as 10–12 kg in trout waters, and 18–23 kg in coarse fish waters. Anon. (1988) indicates that the angling catch in 1986 was 4 302 t. EIFAC (1989) states that the annual catch of 298 000 sport fishermen in Czechoslovakia (sometime between 1982 and 1988) totalled 4 600 t or 15.4 kg per angler.
Anon. (1979) states that the composition of the angler's catch in 1975 was as follows: common carp (52 percent); bream, Abramis brama (9 percent); pike (7 percent); trout, char and grayling (5 percent); chub, Leuciscus cephalus (4 percent); nase, Chondrostoma nasus (3 percent). One can assume that the remaining 20 percent of the catch was composed primarily of other cyprinids such as Aspius aspius, roach (Rutilus), barbel (Barbus sp.) and tench (Tinca tinca), as well as European catfish (Silurus glanis), pike-perch (Stizostedion lucioperca), eel (Anguilla anguilla) and perch (Perca fluviatilis).
A somewhat different catch composition is shown in Table 7 which shows the angler's catch in Czechoslovakia in 1986: common carp (78%), pike (7.9%), trout (7.9%), pike-perch (4%), tench (1.7%), “phytophagous” fishes (0.6%), coregonids (0.07%). Czechoslovakia/EIFAC (1989) says that “coarse fishes” were not included in this summation.
Vacek (1983) states that in 1965, 120 000 anglers were registered in Czechoslovakia, the number rising to over 200 000 by 1978. Anon. (1982) using figures submitted in 1979, said that the number of organized anglers exceeded 245 000, with an annual increase of 5 percent. FAO (1979), who said that angling was considered the second most important sport in the country (just after football), boosted the number of anglers to more than 249 000 and Anon. (1988) said that the number of anglers (1986–87) was over 300 000. Even so, this was only 1.9 percent of the total population at the time.
Participation in angling involves membership in the Czech or Slovak Angler's Union, including participation in special courses and examinations. The Unions, which are organized locally, regionally and centrally, have a variety of activities including the management and protection of fisheries and their waters and education of their members.
A principal form of management is fish stocking by fish farms run by the Unions. Anon. (1979) states that about 9 million yearlings are stocked annually: carp (46 percent), salmonids (38 percent), pike-perch (88 percent), tench (5 percent), pike (3 percent), and some chub and nase. Elvers are also imported and stocked.
Fish culture has been practised in Czechoslovakia for almost 700 years. Ponds designed purely for fish breeding have been known since the Twelfth Century, and during the Fourteenth Century, and during the Fourteenth Century the total area of fish ponds in Bohemia and Moravia alone is estimated to have been about 75 000 ha. In the Sixteenth Century, in the golden era of Bohemian fish pond management, 180 000 ha of ponds were registered. Some of these old ponds are extremely large, e.g., the largest pond in Czechoslovakia (Rožmbersky), which was built 1584–90, has a surface area of 742 ha according to Matěna and Berka (1987). Due to wars and the intensification of agriculture, both the number and area of ponds decreased significantly to only 79 000 ha in the year 1787 (Dyk and Berka, 1988). Today, the total area of fish ponds in Czechoslovakia is estimated at about 52 200 ha and the total number of ponds is about 5 000 (Anon., 1978; 1988; EIFAC, 1989). Total aquacultural production in 1986 was 16 696 t (see Table 7).1
1 FAO Fish.Info.Data and Stat.Serv. (1989) estimate aquacultural production in Czechoslovakia for each year of the 1984–87 period. However, its figures are so similar to those in Table 4 that they will not be repeated here. As has already been shown, Table 4 (and therefore the reference above) includes angler's catch
Primary attention is given to the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) which represents about 90 percent of pond fish production. In 1986, Czechoslovakian ponds produced 14 724 t of carp (Table 7). The scale carp is still predominant, but emphasis is being placed on increase in mirror carp.
A second group of pond fish on which interest is focussed included circa 1979: tench (4.2 percent); rainbow trout, (Oncorhynchus mykiss) (1.7 percent), two introduced coregonids, Coregonus lavaretus and C. peled (2.7 percent); pike, Esox lucius (0.3 percent); pike-perch (0.1 percent); and some European catfish, Silurus glanis, American brook trout (char) Salvelinus fontinalis, and brown trout, Salmo trutta. The herbivorous Chinese carps, introduced in 1962, are also on trial: the grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), and bighead (Aristichthys nobilis) (Anon., 1979). To this list may be added the imported bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinella) and black buffalo (I. niger) now on trial in Czechoslovakia. Marcel (1979) stated that the Czechoslovakian production of trout (mostly rainbow) for food was about 500 t annually and that of coregonids about 300 t. Berka (1982) says that good results were gained in salmonoid culture, especially rainbow trout, with production increasing from 328 t in 1975 to 651 t in 1980, but that the production of supplementary fish (tench, coregonids, pike, pike-perch and herbivorous carps) had no increasing tendency, comparing 1 041 t of production in 1975 as against only 966 t in 1980.
Of Czechoslovakia's total aquacultural production in 1986 (Table 7), common carp constituted about 88%, followed by trout (4%), phytophagous fishes (3.2%), tench (2.1%) and coregonids (2.1%).
It will be noted that a hybrid of Coregonus lavaretus and C. peled is the only coregonid now bred by fish farmers in Czechoslovakia. This hybrid also reproduces in Czechoslovakian reservoirs but since there is no regular commercial fishing it forms only a small part of the angling catch (Vostradovský, et al., 1988).
About 80 percent of the total pond area in the country is owned by the State Fisheries and of the total area, more than 90 percent is located in southern Bohemia and southern Moravia. On the whole, Czechoslovakia has 52 200 ha of fish ponds. Of this area, the State Fisheries Corporation manages 40 600 ha in the Czech Republic and 1 120 ha in the Slovak Republic. These are grouped into 16 State Fish Farms (EIFAC, 1989). The remaining 10 480 ha of ponds are managed by the Secondary Technical Fish Farming School, the Czech Anglers Union and Slovak Anglers Union, agricultural cooperatives, and other users. The Anglers' Unions use the ponds for the production of fish to be stocked in open waters where the members practise sport fishing.
In 1973, the average annual pond fish production in Czechoslovakia was 290 kg/ha according to Krupauer (1973a) who said that this value was derived from the use of cadastral area and “…conversion to the actual productive area would result in an increase of average crops to 320 kg/ha within the State Fisheries Trust as a whole”. FAO (1979) says that the annual average production of Bohemian and Moravian ponds is about 350 kg/ha and that in Slovakia, due to better climate and lower altitude, it is about 540 kg/ha. In 1987, 412 kg/ha of fish increment (not production) was reached in ponds of the State Fisheries Farms in the Czech Republic compared with one of 312 kg/ha in 1980 (Berka, 1989). In 1986, the average annual pond fish production in Czechoslovakia (using the total extent of its fish ponds) was 320 kg/ha.
For years, there has been heavy reliance in Czechoslovakia on the production of natural foods, using fertilization in ponds. Berka (1982) says that about 60 percent of the country's total fish pond production is secured on this basis. A great deal of organic fertilizer was used, but in the last 20 years there has been a shift to use of mineral fertilizer, and artificial feeding is also practised. About 50 kg/ha/year of NPK is used and about 23 000 t of food are fed: 95 percent for carp and tench and 5 percent for trout. Feed conversion is reported as 1.5 for carp and 3 for trout by FAO (1979). Berka (1982) reports pond fish feed conversion as between 1.7 and 1.9. Vacek (1983) reports carp feed conversion between 1971 and 1978 as 1.49 and 1.8. Almost all of the feed is produced domestically.
Duck breeding in Czechoslovakia has been combined with carp culture since 1950, having risen from 95 t of slaughter ducks in 1953 to 10 630 t in 1978 (Vacek, 1983). By 1980, the State Fisheries concern was producing 12 060 t of ducks and duck production in State Fishery farms represented more than 87 percent of the total Czechoslovakian market production (Berka, 1982).
Crayfish (Astacus astacus), once fairly important in Czechoslovakia, have declined in fish ponds because of incompatibility with present culture methods (Krupauer, 1973).
In addition to traditional pond fish culture, Czechoslovakia practises cage culture (e.g., for trout), in the warm water emitted by both thermal and nuclear plants, and trout culture in silos (towers).
Most carp are sold alive, but production of semi-finished products is increasing. The customer has generally wanted a carp weighting 1.5 kg which may take up to three years to rear. Using the usual methods, two-year-old carp may weigh 1–1.5 kg and three-year-olds about 2 kg. Marketable carp are distributed to retail centres shortly before Christmas. Traditionally, about 70 percent are sold in December. Some cultivated fish are exported: carp, tench, pike-perch, and the eggs of huchen and rainbow trout.
In addition to aquaculture for food, fish ponds are also useful for water retention, as a source of agricultural water, and as a source of recreation. Furthermore, both the Angling Unions and the State Forestry have hatcheries which raise fish to stock angling waters.
8. OWNERSHIP, ADMINISTRATION, MANAGEMENT, INVESTIGATION AND AGREEMENTS1
According to Fisheries Law, ownership of fishing waters and the right of fishing is held by the State, and implemented through the State Fisheries, State Forestry, and the Czech and Slovak Angling Unions and their organizations.
The authorities responsible for control and direction of fisheries are the Ministries of Agriculture and Food of the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
The Departments of these Ministries control projects concerning fishery development, capital investment, technical development, production plans, science, research, and fishery education. They administer fishery laws and approve plans for stocking and fishing in open waters. Separate sections of Environment Protection and Formation in these Ministries direct much of the fishery work.
The State Fisheries, State Enterprise in the Czech Republic, directed its subordinate organizations within the Czech Republic, including direction of the Fisheries Research Institute, and manages production plants (fish farms, etc.);
The General Directorate of the Poultry Institute directed the State Fisheries in the Slovak Republic until 1988; starting in 1989 the State Fisheries of the Slovak Republic was created as a State Enterprise paralleling that of the Czech Republic in scope but without research, and
The Czechoslovak Angler's Union is a top union body for coordination of activities in the Angler's Unions: the Czech Angler's Union and the Slovak Angler's Union. These, with Central and Regional Committees direct the activity of anglers in local organizations, management of fishery districts, production of stocks, issuance of fishing licences, education, etc.
The Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Regional National Committees direct fisheries in flowing and other free (open) waters, supervise water quality and legal regulations, can allow exceptions to the Fisheries Law, and establish protected regions and preserves in their individual territories. The same Departments within District National Committees have somewhat similar prerogatives.
Some aspects of fishery management not outlined above are covered here.
Possession of an angling licence is conditioned by membership in the Czech or Slovak Angling Union. Regional, or all-union licences can be issued by the Czech or Slovak Unions for fishing for coarse fish, trout, and huchen (the latter only in the Slovak Republic);
In some waters belonging to the State Fisheries, limited licensing depends on the manager, and licences for fishing in water courses managed by the State Forests, National Corporation, are issued by their directors, and
Some reservoirs are managed by State farms and collective farms, and part of the water courses (mostly mountain torrents) are administered by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Management.
8.4 Investigation and Education
8.4.1 Scientific and technical development of fisheries is secured by the:
Fisheries Research Institute, Vodnany, of the Czech Republic, with its research stations, attached to the State Fisheries, české Budějovice, and also subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food;
Fisheries and Hydrobiology Institute, Bratislava, directed by the Research Institute of Animal Husbandry, Nitra, and sub-ordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Slovak Republic.
Other Institutes dealing to some extent with fisheries are the:
8.4.2 Educational facilities for fisheries include the:
8.5 International Agreements
Czechoslovakia has bilateral agreements with Austria, the Democratic Republic of Germany, Hungary, Poland and the USSR concerning use of boundary waters.
It has a trilateral agreement with the Democratic Republic of Germany and Poland concerning the Nysa or Nysa Luzycka (also known as the Niesse), which rises in Czechoslovakia and forms a Polish boundary with the Democratic Republic of Germany.
It has a quinquelateral agreement concerning the Tisza River with Hungary, Romania, the USSR and Yugoslavia.
Along with other Danube countries, Czechoslovakia belongs to the Danube Commission which deals with navigation and related matters. It also adheres to the Convention on Fisheries of the Danube together with Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, the USSR and Yugoslavia to take joint action to protect the river's fish stocks.
1 This section is based primarily on material sent to EIFAC by the Government of Czechoslovakia in 1979, and Anon. (1982), and updated by Czechoslovakia/EIFAC (1989)
9. STATE OF THE FISHERY
Table 4 shows that the production of carp had increased 50 percent between 1965 and 1975, and that production of trout had more than quadrupled between 1965 and 1980. As has been noted before, the bulk of “catch” in Table 4 is aquacultural production. The commercial catch from open waters has declined sharply.
FAO (1979) states that “according to latest estimates”, the annual production of fish or ichthyomass in Czechoslovakian waters is about as follows: natural lakes, 50 kg/ha; trout streams, 100 kg/ha; man-made lakes, 200 kg/ha; irrigation channels, 300 kg/ha; rivers, 450 kg/ha. Another source (Czech.Nat.Comm. FAO/UN, 1979) provides these ranges for annual protection of ichthyomass: trout waters, 100–300 kg/ha (exceptionally 1 000); submontane coarse fish waters, 300–800 kg/ha (exceptionally 1 500); lowland coarse fish rivers, 100–400 kg/ha; inundated arms of big rivers, 800 kg/ha. This source also says that the available annual yield in rivers ranges between 30 and 60 percent of the ichthyomass.
It is further stated (Anon. 1979) that the average annual catch by anglers is about: 90 kg/ha from rivers, 20 kg/ha from trout streams, and 20 kg/ha from man-made lakes. Anon. (1988) says that angler catches commonly reach about 100 kg/ha/year in coarse fish waters and about 40 kg/ha/year in trout waters.
More specific figures for one area of the country are provided by Holčik and Bastl (1976) who state that the 172-km section of the Czechoslovakian Danube including the adjacent river arms of 3 114 ha (total 11 051 ha) yielded on the average 41.4 kg/ha annually during the 1961–72 period.
The mean annual production of fish ponds in Czechoslovakia has already been cited in section 7.2, i.e., somewhere in the neighbourhood of say, 350 kg/ha. FAO (1979) refined figures for fish ponds as follows: 10 percent with a mean annual production of 1 200 kg/ha, 55 percent with 309 kg/ha, 24 percent with 200 kg/ha, and 11 percent with 80 kg/ha or less. Vacek (1983) says that high intensity fish farming produces yields of over 1 000 kg/ha/year, secondary intensity farming yields of 300–400 kg/ha/year, and other methods much less.
9.2 Factors Affecting the Fishery
The total water resources of Czechoslovakia are simply not large enough to supply adequately the combined needs of its urban and industrial development, its agricultural base and an inland fishery. Its rivers are relatively small (some of the best known are only headwater systems), and even the great Danube is only peripheral to the country. Its natural lakes are small, few in number, not very productive, and reservoir development has not been extensive. Furthermore, in artificially controlled waters, fluctuation in flow and water level affect fisheries adversely.
The hazards of pollution and demands for water use render extreme danger to any type of inland fishery. It has been estimated that within a few years each drop of water in Czechoslovakia will be reused about ten times. Circa 1972, 5.5 percent of the lengths of its rivers were considered to be polluted and 1 500 km of its rivers had been rendered fishless. The annual runoff per caput is about 5 686 m3 based on the total discharge leaving the country. Based only on the 28 000 million m3 originating within Czechoslovakia it is only 1 769 m3 per caput annually, well below the European average.
In the past, conditions for fish production were much better along the floodplains of rivers such as the Danube. The trophic base (whether benthos or plankton) and reproductive environment is generally better in the river arms and overflow areas than in the main channels. Reclamation of bottom land, channelling, diking, and changes in flood regime have been factors in changing these wild fisheries.
Overall within the country, commercial fisheries have now decreased to a minimum, not only from declines in fish populations, but because of the high proportion of economically less preferred species. Their purchase price is low and therefore there is no real market for them.
Aquacultural production in Czechoslovakia also has its problems. Factors unfavourable for its success are:
The ancient pond systems (some 400 years old) which require change;
Nutrient runoff from arable land is more prevalent in Czechoslovakia than in many other European countries, and in some cases, as much as 100 times the level of nitrate considered optimal to fish stocks is found in pond inlets (Berka, 1982; Vacek, 1983).
The traditional commercial capture fishery, now almost gone, will decline further with diminishment of water quality (affecting taste as well as viability) and floodplain environment.
Sport fishing will continue to increase as a recreational activity.
Despite the factors weighing against it, the long tradition of fish culture will continue to keep it viable, and changes in the methods used will support its development. For example, despite the consumer's general requirement for carp of 1 500 g as a minimum acceptable size (taking three years to produce), new processing methods including frozen cuts can produce this requirement in two years. Other new techniques such as those to increase the success of reproduction, aeration, and the use of polyculture will increase production.
A Fishery Development Concept accepted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Czechoslovakia in 1987 presumed that the domestic “production” of fish in Czechoslovakia would rise to 16 980 t by the year 1990 and 19 900 t in the year 2000, from which about 5 600 t would be taken from natural waters. (One presumes that most of the latter would be taken by anglers.) Since the area devoted to fish ponds was not considered to grow perceptibly, the increase in pond fish production would have to be achieved by a better yield per hectare. To achieve this target growth, it was planned to raise yields by the year 1990 in Bohemia/Moravia to about 400 kg/ha/year, and in Slovakia to about 600 kg/ha/year. Overall, the plan envisaged that by the year 2000 Czechoslovakian fish consumption in product weight would rise to 7.2 kg per caput of which 1.3 kg would be supplied by freshwater fish.
10. REFERENCES SPECIFIC TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA
Berka, R., 1982 Czechoslovakia national report. (Meeting report). Paper presented at the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (EIFAC), Twelfth Session, Budapest, 31 May–5 June 1982:3 p. (mimeo)
Berka, R., (ed.), 1989 Seventy years of the State Fishery enterprise (1919–1989). české Budějovice, 38 p.
Czechoslovakia/EIFAC, 1975 Information on inland water fisheries production in Czechoslovakia. (Response to a questionnaire EIFAC/74/Circ.10, Nov. 1974) (Unpubl.)
Czechoslovakia/EIFAC, 1989 Information on inland water fisheries production in Czechoslovakia. (Response to the EIFAC Secretariat.) (Unpubl.)
Czechoslovak National Committee for FAO/UN, 1979 Recreational fisheries in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Paper presented at the Technical Consultation on Allocation of Fishery Resources, Vichy, France, 20–23 April 1980:15 p. (Unpubl. mimeo)
Dyk, V. and R. Berka, 1988 Major stages of development in Bohemian fish pond management. Papers of the Fish. Res. Institute Vodňany, Czechoslovakia, (17):3–44
FAO, 1979 Czechoslovakia. Fishery Country Profile, Rome, FAO, FID/CP/CZE:4 p.
Federální Statisticky Úrǎd 1984 (český Statisticky Úrǎd, Slovenský Štatisticky Urǎd), Statisticka řocenka, Československé Socialistické Republiky, 1984. Praha, Federalni Statistický Úrǎd, 784 p.
Federální Statisticky Úrǎd, 1988 (Český Statisticky Úrǎd, Slovenský Štatisticky Úrád), Statistická řocenka, Československé Socialistické Republiky, 1988, Praha, SNTL/ALFA, 715 p.
Havelka, J., 1972 Report from Czechoslovakia. In FAO/EIFAC country reports on fish disease and their control and national and international traffic of live fish and fish eggs. (FAO/EIFAC Meeting Paper) FI:EIFAC/72/SC II - Symp. 9, Suppl. 2, 4 p.
Holčik, J. and I. Bastl, 1976 Ecological effects of water level fluctuation upon the fish populations in the Danube River floodplain in Czechoslovakia. Acta Sci.Nat.Acad.Sci.Brno, 10(9):1–46
Holčik, J. and I. Bastl, 1977 Predicting fish yield in the Czechoslovakian section of the Danube River based on the hydrological regime. Int.Rev.Gesamt.Hydrobiol., 62(4):523–32
Keefe, E.K., et al., 1972 Area handbook for Czechoslovakia. Washington, D.C., US Govt. Printing Office, (DA PAM 550–158):321 p.
Krupauer, V., 1973 Das Vorkommen des Edelkrebses (Astacus astacus) in den Teichen der CSSR. In Freshwater crayfish. Papers from the First International Symposium on Freshwater Crayfish, Austria, 1972, edited by S. Abrahamsson. Lund, Sweden, Studentlitteratur, pp. 89–95
Krupauer, V., 1973a Pond fish culture in Czechoslovakia. EIFAC Occas.Pap., (8):33 p.
Marcel, J., 1979 La production de salmonidés dans divers plans d'eau en Tchécoslovaquie. Piscic.Fr., (55):14–20
Melezin, A., 1957 The land. In Czechoslovakia, edited by V. Busek and N. Spulber. New York, Frederick A. Praeger, pp. 2–19
Třzilová, B. and . Miklošovičová, 1977 Die Vereinreinigung und Selbsreinigung des Donauwassers im tschechowakischen Abschnitt vom mikrobiologischen Standpunkt. Arch.Hydrobiol., Suppl.52, 1:106–15
Vacek, J., 1983 Czechoslovakia. In World fish farming: cultivation and economics, 2nd Edition, by E.E. Brown. Westport, Connecticut, AVI Publishing Co., pp. 256–71
Vostradovský, J., et al., 1988 The biology of the whitefish hybrid between Coregonus lavaretus maraena Bloch and Coregonus peled Gmelin in man-made lakes in Czechoslovakia. Finnish Fish.Research, 9:183–9
Anon., 1978 Record harvest from ponds. Fish Farming Int., 5(1):7
Anon., 1979 Czechoslovakia (A manuscript upon which FAO (1979) was based). Files of FAO Fisheries Department, 10 p.
Anon., 1982 Czechoslovakia country review. In Allocation of fishery resources. Proceedings of the Technical Consultation on Allocation of Fishery Resources held in Vichy, France, 20–23 April 1980, edited by J.H. Grover. FAO/American Fisheries Society, pp. 550–5
Anon., 1988 Czechoslovakia national report, January 1986–December 1987. In National reports of EIFAC member countries for the period January 1986–December 1987, edited by European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission. EIFAC Occ.Pap./Doc.Occas.CECPI, (20):8–14