Asp Aspius aspius
A predatory fish species with slim body and compressed flanks. Mouth large, lower jaw has median knob fitting notch in upper jaw. Asp in Europe inhabits mainly rivers north of the Alps. Inhabits large lakes as well as some largest rivers of the basins of these lakes. Asp is threatened by destruction of spawning places, eutrophication and pollution of water bodies, hindrances in the migration routes to spawning places, illegal fishing and increase in number of beavers.
Mud Loach Misgurnus fossilis
A slim anguilliform fish with length up to 25 cm, body is laterally compressed in the tail region. Head small with small eyes and 5 pairs of barbels around the teethless ventral mouth. Spread from France to river Volga. In Estonia Mud Loach is mainly distributed in River Emajõgi and lakes Peipsi and Võrtsjärv. A benthic fish, inhabiting mainly still waters, cut-off meanders and backwaters of rivers, irrigation ditches and muddy lakes. Main threats include drainage and changing the water levels in lakes.
Spined Loach Cobitis taenia
A small (up to 11 cm long) bentic fish, with lanceolate body flattened on flanks. Three pairs of small barbells around the mouth. Distributed sparsely in Southern and central Europe, but also from Asia Minor to Taiwan and Japanese islands. In Estonia occurs both in inland water bodies and coastal self of Baltic Sea. Inhabits sandy or clay bottom areas, prefers clear water. Main threats are connected with regulating the rivers, digging ditches, fluctuations of water-level in the dammed rivers, changes of water levels in lakes, excessive pollution and big numbers of predatory fish (pike and perch).
Bullhead Cottus gobio
A small benthic fish with a club-shaped body and a broad flattened head. This species is widely distributed in northern parts of the continent. Bullhead is found in many rivers and several lakes in Estonia but is absent from some rivers because of obstacles in spreading. In the Baltic Sea it is fragmentarily found over the whole coastal area of Estonia. Bullhead is a typical bottom-living fish inhabiting commonly the areas with stony bottom in water bodies. Main threats are connected with pollution and eutrophication of water-bodies, but also digging ditches, deepening river bottom, damming and changes of water levels in regulated rivers.
Text: "Internationally Important Species in Estonia: Natura 2000". Illustrations: "Fische Europas".
NGO Wildlife Estonia is established in 2000. Our aim is to protect rivers and other aquatic habitats. We care about the nature, biodiversity and fish in particular.
Springs, rivers and lakes are our common treasure. The more natural status they have the more precious they are.
Successful application and implementation of river restoration and fish population status improvement projects. Scientific ichthyology studies with traditional and modern bio-telemetric methods.
Eesti Loodushoiu Keskus, registration 80124928,
Address: Veski 4, 51005 Tartu, ESTONIA
Contact phone (+372) 51 76886