Since 1990 the County of Fyn has built fish passages around, or removed 164 of the 218 obstacles so that the sea trout and other fish and animals can migrate freely. This has allowed the trout access to several hundred kilometres of watercourses which previously were inaccessible.
Even though passage was improved, the natural spawning population was too small to maintain a good trout fishery. This was partly because of the remaining obstacles, but also because of the lack of spawning grounds and suitable physical conditions, as these had been reduced or destroyed by the numerous straightenings of the watercourses in previous centuries. So every year around 50,000 trout fry or one-year old smolts are released. The money received for the fishing permits, which are compulsory for every angler between the ages of 18 and 65, partly supports this, and the remainder is contributed by the County of Fyn sea trout project. This large-scale restocking augments the population along the coasts, and naturally also increases the spawning population. To make sure that the natural stock is supported in the best possible way, the fish released are raised from brood fish caught in the Fyn watercourses.
As part of the Sea trout project, in 2001 a group of interested parties set up a new sea-trout hatchery on Fyn, called Fyns Laksefisk (“Fyn’s Salmonids”). Sea trout which are caught by electro-fishing in the watercourses are brought here in the autumn. The resulting fry and smolts are reared, and released 3 – 12 months later in the same watercourses. This provides the best possible genetic suitability for the Fyn watercourses, with the motto “Fyn fish in Fyn waters”. The natural population
The large number of trout are more than just a desirable catch for anglers. They also help to strengthen the natural population. Today trout ascend 25 of the watercourses on Fyn. To ensure that the new fish passages function as intended, and to monitor the ascent of the sea trout, the County of Fyn has installed electronic fish counters at selected passages. The counters record the date and time when sea trout pass and whether they are moving up or downstream. They also record the length and height of the trout, which means the weight can be calculated fairly accurately. The counters show that large numbers of sea trout swim through the new passages to spawn, and studies further upstream show that the population of fry in the watercourse increases when fish obstacles are removed. The sea-trout has returned to Fyn.
The money you pay for the fishing permit contributes to the restocking programme which regenerates the trout population on Fyn and in Denmark as a whole. Respecting the minimum size limit and protected areas and times, as well as acting with consideration both for nature and the other visitors to the coasts mean that you as an angler are playing a part in a larger process.