Rehabilitation of freshwater fisheries: tales of the unexpected?


  • I. G. Cowx,

  • M. Van Zyll de Jong

Ian G. Cowx, University of Hull, International Fisheries Institute, Hull HU6 7RX, UK (e-mail:


The maintenance and development of freshwater fisheries is based on an understanding of the many biotic and abiotic factors influencing the fish population dynamics. This information has been used to derive models on the most suitable habitats for different fish species and predict carrying capacities of the water bodies concerned. They are also used to determine the impact of various anthropogenic activities on the fish stocks and the possible outcome of enhancement and rehabilitation activities. Unfortunately, rehabilitation schemes based on such a narrow approach are not always as effective as predicted. This is because the schemes have failed to address the wider catchment problems affecting the fish communities. This paper presents two case studies to illustrate this point, and suggests that strategic management is required to improve the success of future rehabilitation schemes.