Baltic Fund for Nature

Fish resources

Lake Ladoga belongs to the group of water bodies of the highest fisheries category. The lake, including channels and lower reaches of the rivers flowing into it, is inhabited by 58 fish species and forms. The most valuable ones are salmonids with 7 known species. The area has salmon, trout, lake char, whitefish, grayling and other valuable species.

The major commercial species are vendace, smelt, perch, roach, bream, Ladoga cisco, ruffe. Limited-harvest species are whitefish and pike-perch. There are also some minor catches of ide, burbot, white bream, grayling, pike. Protected species are Volkhov whitefish and salmon.

In recent years the stocks of such species as salmon, trout and lake char decreased most significantly. Lake char catches in the early 1950's reached 47-55 ton, salmon and trout catches - 133-164 ton. Lake char and trout now lost their commercial value.

Table 4.4.1. Total allowable catch (TAC) in Lake Ladoga for the year 1998

Fish species

Leningrad region (total allowable catch)

Republic of Karelia (registered catch)







Ladoga cisco









Larger under-size fish



























Notice. Data on registered catch are not available for the Leningrad region, TAC is not defined for Republic of Karelia

Salmon fisheries have long become symbolic with no more than several ton annual catch. Alongside with the three species mentioned above commercial value was lost by all forms of land-locked coregonids, and vimba. Common sturgeon disappeared from Lake Ladoga.

Preliminary analysis of the bulk commercial fishes as well as their use is given in the "Fish resources and level of their exploitation concerning major commercial fishes". So the stocks of smelt, perch, roach and ruffe are quite large. At the same time supplies of vendace, Ladoga cisco, whitefish and pike-perch have decreased significantly due to overfishing, illeagal fishing and waterpollution at the sites of their concentration.

Commercial fisheries are also allowed in Lake Ladoga. The Department for protection and reproduction of fish resources, and fisheries control (Sevzaprybvod) sets annual allowable catch for fisheries enterprises of the Leningrad region. These sets are identified basing on the assessments of the Ladoga lake fish resources and thus may reflect their state. E.g., in 1999 it was 4240 ton/year. At the same time state organisations are responsible for registering actual catch of commercial fish stocks. (Table 4.4.1).

According to official statements the set annual catch is normally not exceeded. However, this data seems to be far from reality at least concerning major commercial fish species (see "Fish resources and level of their exploitation concerning major commercial fishes").

Amateur fishing with licences stating the fishing period and size of catch issued to users is also quite intensive in the Lake Ladoga area. The main amateur fishing objects are: perch, roach, white bream, burbot, bream, pike, Crucian carp, ide. No assessment was done on impact of amateur fishing on fish resources of the Ladoga region. Furthermore, no data is available on increase of license-less fishing by local people during the period when economic situation in the region started to go down.

Data from long-term observations indicates that the populations of valuable fish species are currently maintained solely due to the activities of the fish farms (see "Economy. Fish resources.").

Current state of fisheries in the region is described in the section "Economy. Fish resources." and major negative factors are analyzed in the section "Ecology".

Change language

About project
  • Background
  • Purpose and Objectives
  • Project Personnel

  • Legislative basis
  • Legislation
  • Lake Ladoga drainage area as a management object

  • Environment
  • Geomorphology and landscapes
  • Climate
  • Waters, sediments and biota
  • Water - Land Border Zone
  • Terrestrial Ecosystems

  • Natural resources
  • Mineral
  • Agricultural
  • Forest
  • Fish
  • Game
  • Tourism

  • Protected areas
  • Leningrad region
  • Republic of Karelia

  • Social and demographic situation
  • History of the area
  • Population numbers and structure
  • Employment structure

  • Economy
  • Industry
  • Exploitation of mineral resources
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Fisheries
  • Hunting
  • Tourism
  • Transport
  • Economical significance of natural resources and resource use

  • Ecological assessment
  • Sources of human impact
  • Assessment of the state of ecosystem components
  • Hot spots

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Development scenarios
  • Proposed strategies

  • Literature

    About website
  • Site's map
  • Links
  • Contact information