The Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis is an important fish species in both commercial and recreational fisheries. However, there is concern that perch populations in Central Europe are decreasing. This study aimed to assess the effects of environmental factors and management on recreational perch catches. Data from individual angling logbooks collected by the Czech Fishing Union on 229 fishing grounds during 2005-2016 were used in this study. In total almost 60 000 perch weighting 17 500 kg were recorded. During the study period, total perch catches decreased by 60 %, catch per fishing visit decreased by 70 %, average body weight of caught perch increased by 18 %, and percentage of fishing grounds with perch catches decreased by 13 %. The results indicated that the decreasing catches were due to increasing fishing pressure. Further, fishing grounds with higher fishing visit rates had higher catches in general but lower catch per fishing visit. Larger and more productive rivers showed also higher catch. In contrast, intensity of fish stocking did not affect catches. In conclusion, perch populations in Central Europe are likely under high fishing pressure, and the pressure is further increasing.
Commercial and recreational fisheries, fish species, perch populations