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Behind the Sea Trout Fyn Project

Havørred Fyn (Sea Trout Fyn) has helped to create top-class conditions for sea trout fishing by European standards. The project’s unique link between tourism development and environmental regeneration has helped pitch Fyn as a green island and an attractive tourist destination – especially outside of high season!

The sea trout is one of the most valuable and sought-after fish species in Danish waters. It holds significant ecological importance and is also a popular sportfish among anglers. Unfortunately, the sea trout population has experienced a decline in recent decades, primarily due to habitat degradation and climate change. To combat this decline, the Sea Trout Funen Project was launched. In this article, we will explore the objectives, methods, and results of the Sea Trout Fyn Project in its efforts to conserve and restore the sea trout population in Fyn.

Tourism Based on Active Nature Conservation

The original idea behind the Havørred Fyn project was to develop sea trout fishing tourism on Fyn and the Islands through nature conservation in the form of stream restoration and the release of smolt. The idea was that, by putting effort into restoring steams and brooks to good condition, and by releasing smolt, we could bolster the foundations needed for solid fishing tourism. Sound fishing tourism generates a sound economy – and a sound economy is a strong motivating factor to invest yet even more in efforts that will improve our streams and watercourses.   

Our History

It all began for Havørred Fyn back in 1990. The former Fyn County undertook a range of initiatives aimed at promoting business on Fyn. The idea was to create more jobs, especially on the smaller islands. One of the initiatives was Havørredeldorado Fyns Amt [Sea Trout El Dorado, Fyn County]. In the 1990s, the watercourses on Fyn were by no means something to brag about. Blockages from water mills and meadow irrigation systems had become a ‘natural’ occurrence, and there was no shortage of piped sections and drops. Moreover, water was often underapreciated and sewage discharge directly into our watercourses had unfortunately become par for the course. Back then, most anglers fished for cod, flatfish and garfish. Finding a sea trout was a special but seldom occurrence. And so Fyn County saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone through their El Dorado project. The project has since changed its name to the much simpler Havørred Fyn that we know today, bringing all ten municipalities on Fyn together to make a unified and concerted green effort across administrative boundaries.   

A Top-Class Fishing Destination

Today, more than thirty years later, those early ambitions of the project have succeeded beyond all expectations. Fish living conditions have improved considerable in many of our watercourses. This was the result of a huge effort to remove the blockages that prevented sea trout from reaching their spawning grounds, and of laying out spawning gravel and hiding stones in places where the water had removed them over time. Alongside the release of hundreds of thousands of smolt each year, this huge effort has helped to make Fyn, Langeland and Ærø into top-class fishing destinations. Angling along the coasts of Fyn is something that experts are discussing and writing about both locally and internationally, and not without good reason. The Havørred Fyn model has spread and that is fantastic.   

Objectives and Background

Objectives and Background: The Sea Trout Fyn Project was initiated with the overarching goal of conserving and increasing the sea trout population in Fyn. The project began as a collaboration between local authorities, interest organizations, scientists, and anglers. The background for the project was the concerning decline in the number of sea trout spawning in Fyn's streams and nearshore areas in the 1980's and 199's.

Methods and Measures: The Sea Trout Funen Project has employed several methods and measures to achieve its goals. Here are some of the key ones:

  1. Habitat restoration: The project has focused on improving the sea trout's natural habitats, including streams, brooks, and coastal areas. This has been achieved through the restoration and protection of spawning and nursery grounds, as well as enhancing water quality and stream structure.
  2. Monitoring and research: The Sea Trout Funen Project has implemented comprehensive monitoring programs to collect data on the sea trout population's health status, spawning and migration conditions, and other relevant parameters. This research helps identify threats and develop effective management strategies.
  3. Awareness and collaboration: The project has also emphasized increasing awareness about the significance of sea trout and the challenges associated with its conservation. This has been accomplished through information campaigns, workshops, and collaboration with anglers and local communities.

Results and Future Challenges:

The Sea Trout Funen Project has already achieved significant results in its efforts to conserve and restore the sea trout population in Funen. Through the various measures, an increase in the number of spawning sea trout has been recorded in many Funen streams. Improvements in natural habitats and water quality have also been observed.

While progress has been made, the Sea Trout Funen Project still faces challenges in the future. Climate change and habitat degradation remain threats to the sea trout population. Therefore, it is crucial to sustain efforts and implement long-term strategies to ensure a sustainable population.

Sea Trout Fyn is Havørred Fyn

The Sea Trout Fyn Project has proven to be a valuable endeavor in conserving and restoring the sea trout population in Fyn. Through a combination of habitat restoration, monitoring and research, and awareness and collaboration, the project has succeeded in increasing the number of spawning sea trout and improving the ecosystem in waters of Fyn. 

The Sea Trout Fyn Project serves as an example of how collaboration between stakeholders and local communities can contribute to the conservation of endangered species and the sustainable management of our natural resources. Continued focus and dedication will be essential to ensure the ongoing prosperity of Sea Trout in Fyn in the future. 


The Sea Trout Fyn Project is funded by the municipalities. Actually, the project is one of the oldest cross-municipality collaboration projects in Denmark. Each year, each municipality on Fyn, Langeland and Ærø contributes to the project, on a sum that is based on the current population of the municipality. This sets no limits for water restorations, and each municipality can get trout-improving projects funded by up to 80% by the Sea Trout Fyn Project. In our world, no municipality is richer than others when it comes to sea trout improving initiatives.


Seatrout Fyn – Sustainable success