Fish Species - Lithuania

Pike (Esox lucius)

© Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

 

Physiology and size:

Pike is easily distinguished by its long, flat, ‘duck-bill’ snout, large mouth with many large, sharp teeth, and the rearward position of its dorsal and anal fins. Gill rakers present only as patches of sharp teeth on gill arches. Body colors often olive green, shading from yellow to white along the belly. Pikes can grow quite big, but usually they do not exceed 20 kilograms.

Habitat and biology:

Pikes are typical predators: they don’t migrate huge distances but wait in ambush near submerged vegetation or bottom structure. Since they are quite territorial, only pikes of the similar size occupy same spots, so that they do not feed on each other. Pikes have a few natural enemies, it is common to feed on their smaller relatives. In the spawning season pikes often become prey for otters, since they are quite vulnerable during this time.

Minimum size and conservation periods:

In Lithuania it is prohibited to catch and kill pikes form 1st of February to 20th of April, and it is also prohibited to use life fish as bait from 1st of January to 20th of April. The minimum size for pike is 45 cm, and you can take only 3 fishes in one fishing trip.

Season:

Pikes are active all year, but the best time for pike fishing is autumn. When water temperature is dropping, pikes become more active and start to feed more frequently to prepare for winter. Moreover, a good time to catch pike is from a mid to late spring, after their spawning, when big pikes are still at the shallow and warm waters.

 

Perch (Perca fluviatilis)

© Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

 

Physiology and size:

Pelvic and anal fins of perch are yellow to red, the posterior part of the first dorsal fin is covered with dark blotches and the flank has bold dark bars. On the back there are two dorsal fins, clearly separated from each other: the first dorsal fin is gray, with a black spot at the tip and equipped with sharp spikes. The second dorsal is greenish-yellow. The pectorals are usually yellow, other fins are red. The body color depends on water color and their bottom and may vary from greenish to yellow, with transverse black bands on the sides. Perch can grow up to more than 3 kilograms, but this is very rare. Usually, specimen of more than 1 kilogram are considered as big.

Habitat and biology:

Perch is an opportunistic diurnal feeder which preys mainly during sunrise and sunset, using all available prey. Perch often feeds on smaller fishes (crayfish). In bigger water bodies perch may undertake short spawning migrations, usually spawns in a middle of spring on underwater vegetation or submerged bushes, when water temperature rises up to 7 °C.

Minimum size and conservation periods:

There is no minimum size or units limitation in Lithuania for perch. In Nemunas Regional Park and Curonian Lagoon a bag limit of seven kilograms is in place, five kilograms in the in the rest of the inland waters.

Season:

Perch is quite active all year round and can be specifically targeted and caught in every season. The best seasons is late spring, after perch spawning and late summer till the middle of autumn. However, in winter ice fishing can be very successful, too.

 

Bream (Abramis brama)

© Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

 

Physiology and size:

Bream is deep-bodied, laterally flattened, high-backed and has flattened sides body. Eyes and head are small compared to their body size. The mouth is ventral, slightly undershot, and can be extended as a tube. Bream has a silvery grey color; though older fish can be bronze-gold colored, especially in clear waters. The young fishes are silver, and are ventrally yellowish. The fins are grey or light brown, but never reddish. Anal fin origin is beneath the rear end of the dorsal fin, its base is long. In good conditions some specimens can grow up to 6-8 kilograms but most common is 1-3 kilograms.

Habitat and biology:

Breams are typical bottom feeding fish and feed on insects, particularly chironomids, small crustaceans, mollusks and plants, larger specimens may feed on small fish.

Minimum size and conservation periods:

In Lithuania, a bream angling prohibition is in place, valid only in “Nemunas delta region park” from 20th of Aprill to 20th of May.

Season:

Like all cyprinids, breams are more active during warm season, but large specimina can be caught in late autumn or even through ice fishing.

 

Zander (Sander lucioperca)

© Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

 

Physiology and size:

Zander body lengths may grow up to 1.5 m, weighing up to 20 kg, but specimina caught usually have 35-55 cm body length and a weight of 0,5-2,5 kg. Their body is spindle-shaped, the back is greenish-gray. Their sides are yellowish, with oblong transverse spots, while the belly is white and dorsal fins have spines. The head is characterized by a pointed shape with light eyes and enlarged canine teeth in the anterior part of each jaw.

Habitat and biology:

Zander is a predatory fish and mostly feeds on small fish. Spawning occurs in late spring, since after spawning males defend nets from other fishes and take care of eggs by fanning them with their pectorals. They are easy targets for poachers.

Minimum size and conservation periods:

In Lithuania it is prohibited to catch zander from 1st of March to 20th of May. Minimal length for zander is 45 cm and you can only take 3 units in one fishing trip.

Season:

The best time for zander angling is from beginning of summer till mid-autumn as it is a warm temperate fish that is less active during cold water season. However, even outside this time specially targeted angling for zander is still possible.

 

Salmon (Salmo salar)

© Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

 

Physiology and size:

Adult salmon at sea are blue-green, the dorsal part is silvery along the sides, while the ventral part is white with a few black spots, but none under the lateral line. Their body is spindle shaped and flattened from the sides. The caudal fins are usually unspotted. During spawning migration, individuals lose the silvery shine and become dull brown or yellowish, and the skin becomes thick and leathery. Males may be mottled with red or have large black patches and are characterised by elongated, hooked jaws that meet at the tips. They have thicker fins and slime covering their body.

Habitat and biology:

After spawning, survivors lose their spawning coloration and are generally dark in colour. The hook of males dwindles after spawning. Spawning migration from the sea to rivers starts in the second half of summer.

Minimum size and conservation periods:

In Lithuania it is prohibited to catch salmon from 15 October to 31 December. Moreover, fishing for salmon is prohibited without a fishing licence in most of the salmon rivers from 16 September to 15 October. A full list of rivers can be found here. The minimum length of salmon inland is 65 cm, and at sea 60 cm. You can take only 1 fish per fishing trip.

Season:

The best time for salmon fishing is right before prohibition and right after (since salmon after spawning migrate back to sea). Fishing for salmon at sea from a boat starts in late autumn and if weather conditions are favourable can last all winter till the middle of spring, with the peak at the beginning of the spring. The season for salmon fishing from the coast is quite short and lasts from the beginning of spring till the end of spring, with the peak of angling in the middle of the season.

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