Historical occurrence and extinction of Atlantic salmon in the River Elbe from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries
Jan Andreska, Lubomír Hanel
ABSTRACT. Data on the occurrence, biology, and historical background of the Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., (Pisces, Salmoniformes) in the Elbe river basin (Europe, North Sea drainage area) with a focus on Bohemian territory (Central Europe) from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries are summarized in this paper. Historical methods of salmon fishing in Central Europe and historical legal protection of salmon in Bohemia are presented. The salmon is a model example of species which was extirpated as a result of anthropogenic changes in the landscape and rivers in some water systems. The human activities, such as stream bed regulation, dam system construction, other migration barriers, water pollution, fisheries exploitation, that led to the extirpation of Atlantic salmon in the Elbe river basin (are discussed. The last sporadic migrating native salmon were registered in the Bohemian section of the Elbe river basin in the mid twentieth century.
Keywords: Atlantic salmon, Elbe River, fishing methods, historical data