Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Invasive fish species in the largest lakes of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England: the collective U.K. experience

By I.J. Winfield, J.M. Fletcher and J.B. James

Abstract

An invasive species is defined as an alien (or introduced or non-native) species whose establishment and spread threaten ecosystems, habitats or species with harm. Such threats to UK lake fish communities have long been appreciated and this review assembles case histories, including new data, from the largest lakes of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England to examine the hypothesis that at least some of these introductions have become invasive. Loch Lomond in Scotland has experienced six introductions [chub (Leuciscus cephalus), common bream (Abramis brama), crucian carp (Carassius carassius), dace (Leuciscus leuciscus), gudgeon (Gobio gobio) and ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus)], of which the most significant has been that of the percid ruffe, which has been implicated in a recent decline of the native coregonid whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus). In Northern Ireland, the introduction of the cyprinid roach (Rutilus rutilus) to Lough Neagh has apparently had a negative impact on some overwintering waterfowl, although the native coregonid pollan (Coregonus autumnalis) remains abundant. Llyn Tegid in Wales has received three introductions [rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), ruffe and silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna)], although no impacts on the native whitefish or other fish populations have been observed. In England, individuals of at least 12 native and non-native fish species have been brought to Windermere for the purpose of live-baiting, although only those of the cyprinids roach and common bream have established abundant populations. At the same time, the native salmonid Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) has declined markedly while the native esocid pike (Esox lucius) has shown changes in abundance, distribution and individual condition, although these developments have not been shown to be causally linked. None of these introductions were sanctioned by appropriate fisheries or other regulatory bodies and almost all of them probably arose from the release or escape of live-bait used by pike anglers. Of the 10 species introductions documented here, four (common bream, gudgeon, roach and ruffe) have established abundant populations and two of these (roach and ruffe) have apparently caused or currently threaten harm, supporting the hypothesis that at least some of these introductions have become invasive

Topics: Ecology and Environment
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s10750-010-0397-2
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:12917

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. 1899. The English Lake District Fisheries.
  2. (2001). A Global Strategy on Invasive Alien Species. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources,
  3. (2004). A neutral terminology to define ‘invasive’ species.
  4. (2008). Assessment of long-term changes in habitat availability for Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in a temperate lake using oxygen profiles and hydroacoustic surveys.
  5. (2008). Bream (Abramis brama), a new fish species confirmed in Loch Lomond.
  6. (2000). Changes in reproductive strategy in the ruffe during a period of establishment in a new habitat.
  7. (1973). Coarse fish and fishery management in Northern Ireland.
  8. (1994). Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo [L]) populations and patterns of abundance at breeding and feeding sites in Northern Ireland, with particular reference to Lough Neagh. Hydrobiologia
  9. (1993). Ecological studies of the fish community. In
  10. (1994). Feeding ecology of the diving ducks pochard (Aythya ferina), tufted duck (A. fuligula), scaup (A. marila) and goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) overwintering on Lough Neagh,
  11. (1991). First record of the carp, Cyprinus carpio L., in the Lough Neagh catchment (Northern Ireland).
  12. (2003). Gwyniad translocation project: Phase One – A condition assessment of the potential donor population in Llyn Tegid.
  13. (1992). Interactions between the roach, Rutilus rutilus, and waterfowl populations of Lough Neagh,
  14. (2007). Long-term case histories of ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) introductions to four U.K. lakes containing native vendace (Coregonus albula) or whitefish (C. lavaretus) populations.
  15. (2008). Northern pike (Esox lucius) in a warming lake: changes in population size and individual condition in relation to prey abundance. doi
  16. (1950). Notes on the introduction of some freshwater fish into Ireland.
  17. (1994). Possible competitive interactions between overwintering tufted duck (Aythya fuligula (L.)) and fish populations of Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland: evidence from diet studies.
  18. (1991). Powan, Coregonus lavaretus (L.), ova predation by newly introduced ruffe,
  19. (2007). Public attitudes to the management of invasive nonnative species in Scotland.
  20. (1996). Recent introductions of the ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) to three United Kingdom lakes containing Coregonus species.
  21. (2006). SCM of fish in standing waters (Phase II). Unpublished report.
  22. (2008). SCM of fish in standing waters 2007/2008 (Phase I). Unpublished report.
  23. (1991). Shift in pike, Esox lucius (L.), predation pressure following the introduction of ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernuus (L.) to Loch Lomond.
  24. (2008). The Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) populations of Windermere, U.K.: population trends associated with eutrophication, climate change and increased abundance of roach (Rutilus rutilus).
  25. (2008). The climate of the United Kingdom and recent trends. Met Office Hadley Centre,
  26. (2005). The dietary response of otters (Lutra lutra) to introduced ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) in Loch Lomond,
  27. (2003). The ecology and conservation of the fish of Llyn Tegid. In
  28. (1994). The fish community of Loch Lomond: its history and its rapidly changing status.
  29. (1993). The fish of Lough Neagh, Part A: A historical and taxonomic perspective of the fish fauna of Lough Neagh. In
  30. (2001). The Irish pollan, Coregonus autumnalis: options for its conservation.
  31. (1977). The occurrence of rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) in Llyn Tegid.
  32. (1979). The occurrence of silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna (L.)) in Llyn Tegid.
  33. (1995). The Response of a Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Breeding Colony to Rapid Change in Prey Species.
  34. (2001). The Windermere perch and pike project.
  35. (1992). Threats to the lake fish communities of the U.K. arising from eutrophication and species introductions.
  36. (2005). To be, or not to be, a non-native freshwater fish.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.