Although small in size, due to abundance of nutrients, there are lots of different fish species in Lake Arbi: the perch (Perca fluviatilis), roach (Rutilus rutilus), rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), bream, crucian carp (Carassius carassius) and tench (Tinca tinca). And of course, an old aquatic predator, the pike (Esox lucius)! That is why Lake Arbi is also a sport fishing destination for many people. The most popular location for fishing is right here, on the shore near the town centre.
The roach is the most common species in fishermen catch. Photo: Rein Kuresoo.
Fishermen say the silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna) has also been seen here. Also, some Eurasian carp (Cyprinus carpio) and Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) have been introduced during some period of time, and the burbot (Lota lota) and eel (Anguilla anguilla) can arrive via the outflowing Arbi Stream. One peculiar species present in Arbi Lake as well as in the stream is the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). Differently from the three-spined ‘regular’ stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), this species has nine to ten spikes on the back. However, it is still valuable prey for many bigger predatory fish species.
The pike hides under the leaves of aquatic plants in summer days. Photo: Rein Kuresoo.
The nine-spined stickleback is an important food object for bigger fish. Photo: Rein Kuresoo.
The fish of Lake Arbi are characteristic of eutrophic lakes – muddy, unstratified bodies of water. Most fish are rather small, but fishermen have also caught some breams and crucian carps weighing more than a kilogram. Life of a fish can also be affected by lack of oxygen during the winter period – fish are still active even during the winter, therefore the lake is popular among ice fishing enthusiasts.
Fisherman! Keep in mind that you need to follow the Estonian fishing regulations and you need to purchase the recreational fishing license when using more than one simple hand line. Also, there is a legal minimum length stated for some fish species in Lake Arbi.
The Minimum Length for Lake Arbi Species:
pike – 45 cm
tench – 30 cm
burbot – 40 cm
Also, keep in mind that you must release the undersized fish back into the water. This way we protect the young of the species which are fewer and fewer in number. Also, we guarantee the fishing joys for the future.
Author: Randel Kreitsberg
Main photo: Ragnar Vutt