Angling introduced ruffe threaten Loch Lomond, Scotland

Healthier Environment, Better Fishing
Authors: Environment Agency
Where: England

Adding more fish for anglers to catch causes ecological problems:

  • introduction of parasites
  • introduction of disease
  • competition with native fish
  • changes in habitat
For example, in Loch Lomond, anglers, for the particularly cruel practice of catching fish with other impaled live fish, added ruffe. These fish, the helpless live bait, as is their nature, feed on eggs and fry. This further threatened the rare powan fish in the loch.

"Stocking waters with fish carries the risk of introducing parasites and diseases that may harm the fish, and developing fish stocks that could damage the environment, either by changing habitats or competing with other species.

Loch Lomond is a good example of the problem of introducing new species of fish. In recent years, ruffe have settled in the loch. They have almost certainly been introduced there by anglers using them as live bait for pike-fishing. These bottom-feeding fish may well be serious predators on the eggs and fry of powan, a rare whitefish living in the loch."
Fish Pain