Minnow introductions in mountain lakes result in lower salmonid densities

Tiberti, Rocco; Buchaca, Teresa; Cruset, Eloi; Iacobelli, Laura; Maini, Melissa; Ribelli, Fabio; Pou-Rovira, Quim; Ventura, Marc. Biological Invasions : doi:10.1007/s10530-022-02783-w (2022)  DIGITAL CSIC  

Small fish species such as minnows (Phoxinus sp.) are introduced into mountain lakes by anglers that use them as live bait for fishing salmonids that were previously introduced in these naturally fishless habitats. Introduced fish severely impact native biota but minnows are nevertheless released believing to provide forage for game fish, i.e., salmonids. However, our results indicate that minnows negatively interact with game fish, reducing their relative densities. On some occasions, minnows can remain the only present fish following trout extinction. We believe that this information should be urgently disseminated among anglers as a pragmatic argument to also convince anglers less sensitive to conservation issues that carrying minnows to the mountains is not a good idea whatever the main interest is, e.g., nature conservation or outdoor recreation.