Wild salmon in Venta river , Latvia– a weak stock that need better management

2/3 of all Baltic salmon river populations are threatened. Venta river is one of the 10 wild salmon rivers in Latvia. It is a weak salmon population that need much better management to become stronger, but effective actions are missing so far. A strong Venta salmon population can become an important natural resource for recreational fisheries and tourism, and for the local economy in the future.

We need financial resources to be allocated:

– To restore overgrown spawning and breeding areas for Venta salmon, to give better possibilities for reproduction. To insure a better monitoring to follow the salmonid populations in Venta river

– To support more salmonids to pass the waterfall in Kuldiga. An old channel located east of the waterfall could be restored. It would give to the salmoids an easiest fishway going upstream without touching anything of the beauty of the natural waterfall. Investing in such restoration would rise up the number of jumping salmons and sea-trouts in Venta river. In a close future, it would give Kuldiga region the opportunity to attract many tourists and recreational fishermen to the region, and give considerable income from accomodation and for local businesses. Local and regional decision-makers should support such development politically and financially.

No other Baltic Sea Region country has so many wild salmon rivers as Latvia, giving Latvia a special responsibility to guarantee safeguarding of Baltic salmon. Latvia should take its responsibility to implement measures for “active protection of threatened salmon populations”, signed in 2007 within the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.

As we speak, the people working with salmon in Latvia is doing a good job. But there is very few people in Latvia working on salmon management, and the financial resources is peanuts compared to the great values Latvia has with so many threatened wild salmon rivers, e.g in Saka river, Barta river.

But is Latvian institutions willing to provide the resources needed for the active protection of Venta river salmon? And the other salmon rivers?