The Jägerhof – A Century of Fisheries Research
The history of the Jägerhof
The property of today's institute was built in 1904 for a brother-in-law of the German Emperor as the "Jagdetablissement Jägerhof". Its main purpose was to keep and train hunting dogs. With the abdication and expropriation of the Kaiser in 1918, the lake and the Jägerhof became the property of the Prussian state. Lake Sacrow and the Jägerhof were leased to the Prussian State Institute for Fisheries in Berlin-Friedrichshagen in July 1922.
Subsequently, a research, experimental and training facility for fisheries lake management was established here. In this way, the Jägerhof made a decisive contribution to the development and realisation of our current principle of "practical fisheries research for practitioners". In 1929, the Jägerhof and Lake Sacrow became the property of the State Institute. This set the stage for the subsequent further development of Jägerhof into a fisheries research site.
The main task in the first decade after the foundation was to use the previous knowledge of fisheries biology for rational water management by the fishing companies. In this context, net research at the Jägerhof was of great importance. After World War II, the use of the lake and the Jägerhof was continued as an experimental and teaching farm of the German Research Institute for Fisheries.
With the structural changes in the GDR, Jägerhof and the lake were incorporated into the German Academy of Agricultural Sciences (ADL) in 1952 as a branch for inland fisheries of the Institute of Fisheries. In the period from 1956 to 1962, the Jägerhof was reconstructed and rebuilt in a very generous manner for the conditions at the time. The outer appearance of the buildings was in part greatly altered in the process. In the first decade after the war, scientists at the Jägerhof were concerned with questions of the utilisation and exploitation of the mass fish roach, perch and bream. Alongside this, fishing came back into focus. Net research was also taken up again.
In 1963, the Jägerhof branch was reorganised in the course of a review of the research facilities. It was now called the branch for fishing technology and mechanisation of the Institute for Fisheries of the ADL. The work on fishing technology concentrated more on the construction of fishing gear, such as the construction and testing of otter-board stow nets for river fishing, the mechanisation of seine fishery and the development and introduction of electrified trawls in inland fishing.
With the mechanisation in carp pond management and the fast-growing trout farming, new fields of work opened up for the branch in the 1960s. These included, for example, the development, construction and testing of reed cutting machines and pond fertilising equipment as well as fishing techniques and fish ladders. In 1970, the Jägerhof was renamed a branch for fishery technology of the Institute of Inland Fisheries Berlin-Friedrichshagen. In the mid-1970s, another major conversion and extension took place.
In the 1970s, it had become apparent that the desired increases in freshwater fisheries production could not be provided by lake and river fisheries. Therefore, carp and trout farming was increasingly intensified and industrialised. As a result, not only pure mechanisation issues had to be solved, but also increasingly technological problems had to be mastered by procedural means.
These included warm water fish production downstream of power plants, for which aeration technology was developed and tested, for example; aeration processes for high-intensity carp pond farming were also developed during this period. The mechanisation of fishing processes focused on fishing and handling large quantities of fish.
In the 1980s, complex process design shaped the work of the branch. During this time, a closed-loop system for set fish production was developed, in which the used water is always recycled. A plant with oxygen gassing and round basins for set carp rearing, which uses hot water from power plants, was also developed, and both plants were introduced into practice by way of experimental plants.
This involved procedural, technical and biotechnological research and development work. Thus, the branch developed from a predominantly technically oriented institution more and more in a direction where technology and biology were given equal consideration. The political turnaround in 1989 also led to a new orientation of fisheries research at the Jägerhof.
With the support of the new federal states of Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt, the former branch of the institute in Berlin-Friedrichshagen (Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Berlin,whch had also been transferred to another research institution in 1990) became its own institute for inland fisheries research here at Jägerhof.
Exactly 70 years to the day after fisheries research was established at the Jägerhof, on 1 July 1992, today's Potsdam Insttute of Inland Fisheries ("Institut für Binnenfischerei e. V.", IfB) was founded by the federal states of Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt; as a multi-state institution dedicated to application-oriented fisheries research. In accordance with the provisions of the Unification Treaty, the lake and Jägerhof became the property of the State of Brandenburg, which handed over the property to our institute on a long-term basis for further fisheries research within the framework of a contract of use.