A five-year research post is offered at the Fisheries Research station of the Agricultural center for cattle, grassland, dairy, game and fisheries of Baden-Württemberg (LAZBW) in Langenargen, Germany.
River engineering works, such as water power plants or alterations for flood control, heavily impact freshwater ecosystems and fish populations. In addition, climate change, new fish diseases, and invasive species offer further challenges to native fish stocks. For these reasons, it is becoming more and more challenging to conserve or establish self-sustaining populations of highly endangered fish species but also to preserve relatively intact fish stocks at natural levels that support fisheries and maintain ecosystem functions. It is thus imperative to identify and rank effective and long-lasting fisheries management options.
This is where the outlined project jumps in, and the researcher is required to apply advanced ecological modeling techniques to address two main objectives. First, extensive time series of fishing records and accompanying environmental information should be analyzed to identify management options that support and improve populations of long- and mid- distance migratory fish species, especially Atlantic salmon. Afterwards, this ranking should be used as a blue print to evaluate possible protection measures for other endangered migratory fish species in the area. Second, population and ecosystem modelling should be used to evaluate the effects of invasive species in selected systems. A rich time series dataset describing fish population and other ecosystem characteristics is available to support this effort.
The results will be used to support local fisheries managers in their efforts to protect lendemic fish species as well as to preserve a sustainable use of the local fish stocks for commercial fishermen and anglers.
The study aims to answer the following questions:
- What environmental factors impact and restrict selected migratory fish species in the current situation and under future climate change scenarios?
- What restoration measures, be it habitat improvement, stocking programmes, increasing connectivity, etc., might effectively improve conservation?
- What dynamics in the development of selected invasive species could be expected in future and what are the related consequences for the native fish community and the local fisheries?
Results will be submitted in a final project report. Intermediate results should be published in scientific literature and also be presented regularly at scientific and public meetings.
· Reworking preexisting data to fit/inform modelling of migratory fish stocks and the impact of environmental changes and management actions.
· Design of additionally needed monitoring surveys (e.g. redd counts or additional stock assessments).
· Evaluating the applicability of existing population models for local use.
· Developing state-wide numerical models to unravel impacts on target fish species.
· Applying results in a decision analysis framework to inform future management.
· Communicating the results of both scientific and applied fishery management elements of the study.
Remuneration will be according to the public sector salary regulations for the state of Baden-Württemberg’s (TV-L), and depends upon personal experience and qualifications according to the TV-L 14 pay scale (€4419 – €5027 monthly). Full benefits are included in accordance with the German public service system, such as 30 days annual vacation, health insurance, and inclusion in Germany’s state retirement system.
Work will commence as soon as possible.