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History of the Introduction of Species PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 28 September 2009 04:10

 

Introduced exotic species maintain recreational fishing activities in freshwater ecosystems of southern Chile. The history of the introduction of these species stretches back to the XIX century, when the French scientist Pierre Joseph Aimé Pissis, tasked by the Government of Chile, carried out a study that evidenced the scarce presence of ictic fauna in freshwater lakes in Chile, with exception of trout, black marlin, catfish and silverside.

In 1880, the first government farm for the introduction of salmon was created. Later from 1883 and 1888, Mrs. Isidora Goyenechea made the first successful effort to propagate Brown trout that, due to a coincidence (as a result of the rise of the creek where the trout were farmed), populated the Chivilingo river in Lota.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of the XX century, various public and private initiatives were developed to introduce new species. In 1905, for example, 400 thousand common salmon and rainbow salmonete eggs were imported from Germany and liberated in the freshwater ecosystems in the provinces of O´Higgins, Colchagua, Talca, Linares, Maule, Cautín and Valdivia, and in many rivers from the Province of Aconcagua and southward.
Farming activities began in 1916 in Lautaro with the importation of 1.300.000 salmonid eggs from Europe. As a result of such importations and the liberation of various species of salmonids farmed in rivers of Blanco, Maullín and Lautaro, the Aconcagua, Blanco, Cautín, Toltén, Calle Calle and Bueno rivers were populated as well as the entire zone from Bio Bio and Llanquihue. This is how salmonids populated the lakes in rivers of Chile in 1930.

In 1940, the Fish and Game Club of Valparaíso requested authorization to import argentenian silverside fry that were liberated in different ponds of the area. Part of these fry were shared with the Fish Farming Station in Curicó for their later distribution in various locations across the country. They are presently distributed in different ponds and reservoirs in Chile from the province of Atacama to the province of Arauco.

Simultaneously, many unsuccessful efforts were made to introduce salmon since the 40s,. On the basis of several agreements with the Governments of the United States of America and Japan, close to 38 million eggs were introduced, releasing 26 million with poor returns.

In 1975, the “Fisheries Company of Llanquihue Lake Ltd.” was established on the fringes of the Pescado river dedicated to farming rainbow trout aimed for export to France. In 1980, Fundación Chile tried to carry out sea ranching by importing Chinook salmon eggs from Washington that were released in the mouths of the southern channels leading to very good returns two years later. From here on, cage salmon farming began to expand rapidly until reaching over 350 thousand tons that are exported on an annual basis.

In summary, the introduction of many species of salmon and trout for different purposes can be divided in two periods: the first extends from the end of the XIX century until the third quarter of the XX century aimed at recreational fishing and semi-commercial purposes, and a second period from the mid 70s´ until present days aimed at the massive salmon cage production. Today, the various populations of salmon and trout that are found in lakes and rivers in the central southern parts of Chile, are the result of the eggs liberated during the first period that have led to several generations of wild salmon and trout that have formed the basis of recreational fishing for a long period of time.

 
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