Current News and Notifications
In this section you will find information on the newest research projects at our institute, new co-operations with other institutions and various other important news
IfB-scientists author two new articles in peer-reviewed journals in January 2024
The article: Optimizing the mass marking of fish with alizarin red S: an example with glass eels by J. Simon, published in the Journal of Fish Biology is about the economic optimization of mass marking campaigns of fish. Fish marking, or tagging, is an important tool for fisheries management, especially to evaluate the stocking success of endangered fish species such as eels. In order to improve the tagging of glass eels with Alizarin Red S (ARS) and to reduce tagging costs, the study conducted laboratory experiments under different conditions (e.g. temperature, ARS concentration, immersion time, fish density) and with ARS from different suppliers. Among other things, two options for reducing labelling costs were identified which support the creation of improved conditions for organising larger marking campaigns in a cost-efficient manner.
Otholith of an eel that was bathed in Alizarin Red S at glass eel stage; epifluorescence microscopy, 125x magnification (Foto: J. Simon)
The article: Sodium chloride (NaCl) as a treatment against trichodiniasis for pike perch (Sander lucioperca) in recirculating aquaculture systems by C. Naas et al., published in Aquaculture International deals with the treatment of ectoparasites in the aquaculture of pikeperch.
In an experiment presented here, pikeperch from net pens in Lake Sacrow (Brandenburg) were transferred to recirculation systems (KLA) with different NaCl concentrations. During the 21-day period, it was tested whether the ectoparasites naturally occuring on pikeperch could be reduced or even eliminated using NaCl (0, 3, 6 g l-1). The use of 3 g NaCl l-1 proved to be insufficient despite the significant reduction in ectoparasites. Under conditions of closed KLA, however, the ectoparasite density of a representative of the Trichodidinae family was completely eliminated with the aid of continuous exposure to 6 g NaCl l-1.
River Landscape of the Years 2024/25 is the River Stepenitz (Elbe)
In the context of the "Elblachs 2000" programme launched in the 1990s, the Brandenburg State Angling Association (LAVB) and the IfB started the reintroduction project for salmon and sea trout in the Stepenitz catchment area (Prignitz) in 1998, because this river is not only home to a large number of species that have disappeared in many other places, but is also characterised by a high level of preserved unspoiled nature and water quality.
In order to secure the successes of this project to date, but also to focus more strongly on the existing threats to one of our last intact watercourse systems, and to contribute to the further improvement of water conditions, the German Angling Federation (DAFV), together with the German Naturefriends Association (NFD), selected the Stepenitz as the "River Landscape of the Years 2024/25" on 13 December 2023.
You can find more information about this on the website of the German Angling Association (Deutscher Angefischerverband e.V.) - in German language only
Hot off the press - New article on Eels in peer-reviewed journal:
Does it make sense to restock glass eels in Winter?
The population of the European eel is at an all-time low. This is to be counteracted throughout Europe by various measures. One of them is stocking. This involves catching glass eels after their arrival on the European coasts and transferring them to inland waters which they can no longer reach due to the blocking of rivers with weirs, locks, etc. Because of the critical state of the eel stock, this stocking must be carried out carefully and expertly. Traditionally, this is done in spring to provide the young eels with good starting conditions in inland waters. Due to warmer winters and better availability of glass eels in January and February, more glass eels have been restocked in Germany in the winter in recent years. However, it is not known whether lower temperatures and food availability at this time affect the survival of glass eels. A recent study by the IfB has now investigated this question. The results show that the survival rate (19-45 %) and growth performance of glass eels restocked in winter are comparable to those of glass eels restocked in spring. This makes stocking glass eels in winter a suitable alternative to traditional spring stocking.
Find a link to the original article here
The Common River Mussel (or brook mussel, Unio crassus) Project, Brandenburg
In the last week of March 2023 the starting signal was given:
Minister Vogel started a project funded by the EU-Life-Programme, which will take care of the conservation of the Common River Mussel (or brook mussel) populations in Brandenburg over a period of 10 years!
The IfB is involved as a co-operation partner doing various studies and activities; the project is managed by the Brandenburg Nature Conservation Fund Foundation, with the Stuttgart Natural History Museum an additional co-operation partner.
We are very pleased about this success of our team in the Fish and Aquatic Ecology Department, which prepared and obtained the participation in this large project.
Here is the link to the official press release of the Brandenburg Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection.
In May 2023, the new Brandenburg Common River Mussel project actually started and the first work was carried out by IfB staff: more than 300 minnows were released in the Barolder Mühlenfließ. As native host fish species, minnows play a very important role in the life cycle of the endangered brook mussel.
The project-managing foundation NaturSchutzFonds Brandenburg has issued a press release on this activity (in German language, only).
EFRE building project successfully completed
Our institute has gained an impressive building with modern laboratories (including climate chambers), office space and a state-of-the-art archive for our antiquarian book and specialist literature collection. Our network workshop has also found a spacious new home here.
If you are interested in the (German language) report on the building project read it here.
"Fischforum am Jägerhof" 2023 - Training event at the Institute
The face-to-face event was very well attended and focused intensively on carp pond management and its current challenges on the event's first day, 15 February 2023. Presentations by IfB staff and guests were very informative and were lively discussed by the carp pond farmers and trout producers present. The second day, on 22 February 2023, was similarly structured, dealing with the topic of eel and pike-perch and their management in inland waters. This topic was primarily aimed at commercial and angling fisheries as well as fisheries authorities.
Please read the detailed (German language) report on the Fischforum 2023, which was also published in the trade journal "Märkischer Angler", issue 02/2023.
Event review on the twin anniversary celebrations in September 2023: 100 years of Inland Fisheries Research at the "Jägerhof" site and 30 years since the founding of the IfB
On 23/09/2022, Brandenburg's Minister of Agriculture Axel Vogel and Saxony-Anhalt's Minister of Agriculture Sven Schulze congratulated on a twin anniversary at the Jägerhof on Lake Sacrow together with representatives of the state governments of Thuringia and Schleswig-Holstein as well as associations, companies and authorities: Research into fish stocks and their use began here 100 years ago. And for 30 years, the Potsdam Institute of Inland Fisheries (IfB) has existed as an independent research institution on the basis of funding agreements with several federal states.
On 24/09/2022 the gates and doors of the Jägerhof were opened wide for the public to take a look behind the scenes of the work at the Institute. And the interest in the IfB's open day was great - more than 300 visitors found their way to us. Be it at demonstrations on small organisms in our waters, or at the various stations on fishery sampling devices, on inland fisheries, on aquaculture in climate change, on fish farming in recirculation systems, or even on the professional cutting and filleting of fish for cooking - lively discussions between visitors and Institute staff ensued everywhere.
At the Sacrow fish pull at the end of the open day, the handling of a pull net was demonstrated. The visitors could convince themselves of the delicious taste of freshly smoked Brandenburg fish at the stall by the lakeside.
Some impressions of the events can be gained here.
Information on research projects with current relevance
(ongoing or completed)
Development of the German Eel population model GEM IIIb
In connection with the development of the eel management plans for the German eel river basins (EMUs) and the preparation of the related implementation reports, the German Eel Model (GEM) was developed in cooperation with the Thünen Institute for Baltic Sea Fisheries in the period 2008-2017. This is an Excel-based, modular stock model that estimates the migrating silver eel quantity based on the stock input variables (natural increase, stocking), taking into account various mortality factors (natural mortality, commercial and recreational fishing, cormorant, hydropower plants). The GEM can be used to calculate both the reference value, the current silver eel outmigration and the future outmigration (forecast).
In order to enable the use of the German Eel Stock Model (version GEM IIIb) for further river basins, fish species and questions, a German-language version (Aalmodell GEM III_B-Version_Elbe_deutsch.xlsx) and an English-language version (Eelmodel GEM III_B-Version_Elbe_english.xlsx) can be downloaded free of charge. Furthermore, a German-language guide (Kurzbeschreibung_AalmodellGEM III_B-Version.pdf) is available on the structure of the model, how to use it and on the basic possibilities of use and results.
For the adaptation of the model to other river basins, but also for changes/precisions of basic model input variables, various model adaptations are necessary. For this purpose, an overview of all necessary model adaptations has been prepared and special Excel-based calculation tools have been developed, which you can view and download individually (see list below). Each of these tools contain corresponding calculation tables as well as a data sheet "ReadMe", in which the methodical procedure, the necessary input data, the calculations as well as the results are explained.
For further information and questions, please contact our staff member, Dipl.-Fischereiing. Erik Fladung, directly via .
Spreadsheets for model adaptation(in German language)
- Übersicht notwendiger Modellanpassungen - overview model adaptations
- Steigaale - Elbe
- a) Besatzaale - Verteilung Elbe, fein b)Besatzaale - Verteilung Elbe, grob
- natürliche Sterblichkeit, Elbe
- Schalter Mindestmaß Fischer und Angler
- Kormorananteil nat. Mortalität
- Blankaale - Verteilung Elbe
- Dummy-Wert (Infoblatt)
- Test Faktor Blankaalwerdung Männchen
- Test Faktor Blankaalwerdung Weibchen
- Kurzinfo Aalbestandsmodell
Animal Welfare Index - an analysis tool to assess animal welfare in pikeperch farming
In the joint project "IBETA", funded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) and supervised by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), an analysis tool for assessing animal welfare during pikeperch fattening in recirculation systems was prepared by the IfB. The aim was to develop a simple tool for fish farmers to objectively, methodically and uniformly check and communicate their animal welfare approaches and results without certification costs to consumers, fisheries and veterinary authorities.
The analysis tool is based on an Excel spreadsheet. It is quite easy to use, however, the tool covers a complex subject matter.
In the BLE press release on the project, a presentation on the topic is linked, which allows an introduction.
Following many years of experience with pike-perch rearing, we have developed and tested the approach on this species as a model. However, it can also be adapted for other aquaculture candidates, husbandry forms and husbandry stages. This was successfully demonstrated by our partners at the Landwirtschaftliches Zentrum Baden-Württemberg, Fischereiforschungsstelle (FFS) Langenargen, who were able to use rainbow trout as an example,
Fish Species Distribution Database - we would welcome your particpation!
The fish species distribution database is a central database with a continuously maintained register of state-wide fish species occurrences in Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt.
Your help is needed here! To complete the state-wide data collections, your information on fish detections is always welcome. You will find further information on our fish species distribution database webpage.
Climate Change and Aquaculture
The "Forellenhof" , an aquaculture farm in Themar, Thuringia, is a cooperation partner for an IfB pilot project where the IfB is testing various methods of pathogen reduction in aquaculture facilities. Climate change is responsible for the warming of surface water used in aquaculture facilities. Warmer water often also carries higher concentrations of pathogens. In the project, ozone, UV and peracetic acid are being tested as pathogen-reducing measures to ensure the welfare of fish in aquaculture. A programme by the MDR radio station dealt with the project and also conducted an interview with the IfB's project leader, Dr Christopher Naas,which can be viewed here.
If you are interested in more detailed information on our ongoing or completed projects, please also visit our Publications page, where you can find and download themed issues (on individual topics) and annual reports (on current projects) based on the IfB publication series.