The findings for Lake Lucerne have now also been published. Here, 252 sampling measures were carried out over a period of six days, yielding 2479 specimens of at least 21 different fish species. The species most frequently caught, by a clear margin, was perch. Also well represented were bleak, roach, “Albeli” (the whitefish Coregonus zugensis), char and non-native ruffe. However, because sampling did not cover all habitats to the same degree, the catches were adjusted for habitat availability. It was thus shown that the dominant fish species in Lake Lucerne are whitefish and char.
Alternatives to whitefish and perch for diners?
As expected, commercial catches differ markedly from the standardized “Projet Lac” catches. While “Albeli” and other whitefish species account for more than three quarters of commercial catches, they only made up about half of the total in “Projet Lac”. At the same time, char and the various cyprinid species (carp family) made up a much larger proportion of “Projet Lac” catches (Fig. 2). Does this mean that the efforts of Lake Lucerne’s fishermen should be directed towards other species? Project coordinator Timothy Alexander says: “I can’t make any recommendations based on our data alone. At the very least, we’d need to know more about the reproduction and growth of other species. For it’s quite possible that they’re only so common at present precisely because people aren’t fishing for them.” One would also need to make sure, he adds, that alternative species would not be rejected by consumers.