Case Study: The “Pike Factory”, Denmark

The case study strengthens the Pike population in the brackish waters of southern Zealand. The main goal of this project is to create new spawning grounds for pike living in these waters and over time strengthen the developing angling tourism in the area.

Location of study sites: Both possible study sites are streams located near Præstø town in the municipality of Vordingborg, Denmark. The areas surrounding the two streams are a mixture of meadows and forests. One of the streams flow out into Præstø Fjord and the other into Jungshoved Nor. At both sites the areas along the watercourses are lying low in the terrain, so with the right restoration these areas will be flooded during winter/spring and are therefore suitable for spawning grounds for pike. The restoration will create flooded meadows, which create good spawning potential for brackish water pike. About half of the pike population spawns in fresh water and more importantly fry survival is significantly greater in fresh water compared with brackish water.

Target fish species: Pike

Kinds of angling:  The only gear needed is a fishing rod and a reel. However, the two most popular ways for more experienced anglers to go pike fishing in the area are either by boat or by putting on waders and wading along the coast. One can use either a spinning rod with a lure or a fly rod with a fly at the end of the line.

Main angling season: Early spring (March) and autumn (September to November)

Target group (customers): Angling for pikes in the brackish waters is suitable for all age groups, especially in the harbours, which provide ideal conditions for youth and beginners.

Available infrastructure: Accommodation, recreational fishing providers, angling shops and angling guides (the extent of the surrounding infrastructure depends on the specific location of the pike factory).

Development of angling tourism: Fishing for brackish water pike is attractive for visiting anglers. The regional economic value of pike fishing is of increasing importance. There has been a considerable focus on angling for the last 10 years, especially concerning pike around Moen. The quality of the angling around Moen is now at a level which attracts anglers from countries other than Denmark, such as Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

Points of sustainability:

  • Closed seasons and size limits for pike fishing are in place.
  • Four zones in the waters of southern Zealand were appointed as Catch and Release (C&R) zones for a five-year period – commercial fishing for pike is not allowed in these zones.
  • General efforts to make sport fishing for pike sustainable have been implemented, such as:
    • improving fish habitats in rivers and streams (restoration of spawning grounds);
    • greater focus on the factors that limit the fish populations in salt water;
    • greater focus on the environmental conditions in lakes and fjords;
    • involvement of volunteers in environmental efforts;
    • informational and educational material on good sport fishing behaviours is available for visitors/anglers;
    • courses for sport fishing are offered; and a network of certified fishing guides was established.
  • Signs are available in Danish, English, German and Polish to outline rules and regulations for the C&R zones as well as guidelines for good sport fishing and C&R methods.
  • Fishing Zealand brings together a range of different stakeholders, such as local communities, fishermen, researchers, people involved in restoration projects and many more, during different events and activities.
  • Additionally, Fishing Zealand offers training and educational trips to study sites for different kinds of stakeholders and all age groups (e.g. school classes, guides and rangers, volunteer groups and many more).
  • Fishing Zealand supports local businesses to start up working with sustainable angling tourism.
  • Fishing Zealand wants to provide a good-practice example of sustainable angling tourism on a national level, but also with international reach (cross-border).

Known problems: There is no limit on how many fish you can bring home (bag limit) and there is a need for protection of large pike, which are most valuable when it comes to spawning (recommended size 60–80 cm).

Marketing slogan: None