FISH SPECIES IN SKÅRSVATNET LAKE

 

Skårsvatnet is unique in this district having five different species of fish:

 

 

 

“Golden” ide  ( similar to the Golden Orfe)

 

Crucian carp

 

stickleback (Gastreosteus aculeatus).

 

 The “golden” ide a coloured variety of the ide (Leuciscus idus), crucian carp (Carassius carassius), trout (Salmo trutta), eel (Anguilla anguilla) and stickleback (Gastreosteus aculeatus).

The lake is 20,5 acres and is situated 113 meters above sea level, on the road between Fyksesund Bridge and Øystese.

 

The lake is known across the country as the “Goldfish Lake” because of the golden ide. This species and the crucian carp were introduced in the lake in the summer of 1914. Doctor Klaus Hansen from Bergen, whose brother Armauer Hansen discovered the lepra germ, was in the district of Kvam along with the local doctor Munch Søegaard.  They were working together on a survey involving the spreading of tuberculosis. Doctor Søegaard mentioned that the lake had no fish; doctor Hansen said he knew of a species of fish, which would adjust well to the local conditions.

At that time you could find both the golden ide and crucian carp in a pond in Nygårdsparken in Bergen. The result was that two milk pails of fish were sent from Bergen to Øystese by steamboat and put into the lake. How the fish first came to Bergen is unknown. They were

probably ornamental fish in the pounds both in Nygårdsparken and Milde, just outside Bergen. The golden ide died out in Bergen after a couple of very hard winters around the middle of the 1920’s.

 

In Europe the golden ide is found in the Tatra Mountains in the Czech Republic. The only wild species of the golden ide in Norway is here in the Skårsvatnet. The golden ide is not a separate species, but a coloured variety of the ide. When you cross two golden ides, you may also get ordinary ide. The grey / black fish among the golden ones in the lake are these ide.

 

The future of the golden ide in Skårsvatnet is not secure. In 1967 stickleback were introduced and they eat the roe of the ide. The golden ide are spawning on the south side of the lake in the springtime. Local people have sometimes successfully hatched fish eggs in a tank and produced fish that were large enough to be released into the lake. These young fish can be seen from along the gravel trail. Like other carp the golden ide can reach a great age and it is not uncommon for them to be up to 50 years old. In recent years the golden ides have become much bigger, but fewer in number.

 

Both the golden ide and the stickleback are easy to see, unlike the other species in the lake. Crucian carp and the golden ide belong to the Carp family, one of the most varied species (about 1.450 types). Crucian carp is a very hardy fish that thrives in shallow waters, often overgrown with vegetation.

You can also find a few trout in the lake. Eels are rarely caught in the lake, although a few have been trapped in the outlet stream in the autumn.

 

It is illegal to catch the golden ide