Trolling vessels. Photo: Stig Pedersen

Salmon fishing around Bornholm

The REKREA project is collecting information from anglers fishing for salmon in the Baltic Sea

What information is collected?

The REKREA project is studying recreational salmon fishing in the Baltic Sea (ICES statistical areas 24/25) to improve the basis for managing the approx. 40 different wild salmon stocks found there. The aim is to ensure that the populations are in a good state.

The REKREA project needs information on the number of salmon being caught as well as length and weight of the fish. In addition, scale samples are taken from the salmon to determine their age and origin.

The survey includes both fish which are landed and those returned to the sea.

How is data collected?

Information about recreational salmon fishing in the Baltic Sea is primarily obtained by DTU Aqua employees conducting interviews with anglers returning to the harbour at the end of a fishing trip. This takes place in different harbours on Bornholm and Møn according to a system which is designed to ensure that the information is representative of the fishing industry as a whole. The method is called a stratified access point survey.

Trolling fishermen will, among other things, be asked about how many salmon they have caught, how many salmon they might have returned to the sea, the duration of their fishing trip and the number of rods they have used. We would also like to measure and weigh the fish and take scale samples. In those cases where DTU Aqua has an agreement with the fishermen in advance, data is also collected on the size of the fish which the anglers have returned to the sea as well as scale samples.

To obtain detailed information about returned fish, the REKREA project cooperates with a number of trolling fishermen.

The extent of near-shore longline fishing is being clarified by conducting interviews with recreational fishermen and fisheries inspectors. 

Participation is of course voluntary. However, we obviously hope that as many people as possible will spare a few moments of their time to help us. 

The project continues in 2018

The project was initiated in 2017 and during the trolling season 2017-2018 anglers have been interviewed providing information on fishing and catch. The results will be used to adjust the method of collecting information for the coming fishing season.

Catches in the season 2017-2018 were very mixed, with some good periods with catches of large salmon, but also periods with very modest catches. Also long periods with strong winds affected the fishery negatively.

What will the information be used for?

In order to assess the condition of the different salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea, it is necessary to know how many salmon are caught at sea by both commercial and recreational fishermen. The commercial catches are registered when they are landed and the information is to all intents and purposes fairly accurate. On the other hand, there is considerable uncertainty as regards catches by anglers.

It is also important to know the origin and age composition of the fish which are being caught and thus found in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea. The information is used by ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) every year to assess the size of the individual fish stocks.
Read more in the ICES WGBAST Report 2018 about the assessment of salmon and trout in the Baltic Sea 

In Denmark, data on catches by recreational fishermen are presently gathered using an online questionnaire. The REKREA project will contribute with additional data to this study in order to make it more accurate. This will be done by testing different data collection methods at the same time as continuing the existing survey. 

Since the turn of the millennium, by far the majority of salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea have been improved considerably. This is because the stocks have been managed properly, among other things. The new surveys are intended to support this positive development.




Stig Pedersen
Member of Technical and Administrative Staff
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 31 41


Hans Jakob Olesen
DTU Aqua
+45 21 15 42 53
17 OCTOBER 2021