Fish species in rivers

Game fish

Salmon (Salmo salar)

In East-Jutland Atlantic salmon are found mainly in the River Guden, where they have been introduced recently. Each year some 5.000 mature salmon migrate back to this river where anglers are estimated to catch some 1.000 fish yearly.

Salmon caught in other rivers are - with few exceptions - roamers from the River Guden. Salmon start ascending the rivers from May-June on until the end of the season. Catches are dominated by fish in the 4-10 lbs. range - grilse that have spent but one winter in the ocean.

Sea trout (Salmo trutta trutta)

Sea trout are found in almost all the rivers of East-Jutland. They are fast growing fish that in rare cases may exceed 30 lbs. The larger rivers have runs of bright fish in May-June whereas the smaller rivers don't see many fish until September-October. Usually, the larger sea trout migrate upstream before the smaller ones.

Like all true trout the sea trout spawn in November-December. After spawning fish are in bad condition and such "kelts" should be returned to the water unharmed even though the law doesn't require it. They are no good for eating. Much better suited for the table are the smaller, fatter and immature silvery "greenlanders" that migrate up the lower parts of rivers during late winter or early spring.

Lake trout (Salmo trutta lacustris)

Lake trout belong to the same species as do sea trout and brown trout. They only thrive in a limited number of lakes offering cold and well oxygenated water. Of these Mossø and Lake Glenstrup are the most famous. Lake trout may grow larger than 20 lbs. but rarely exceed 10 lbs.

Lake trout are encountered only while running lake tributaries to spawn. Very few of these are large enough to have runs outside the closed season.

Brown trout (Salmo trutta fario)

Red spotted brown trout are common to most rivers in East-Jutland. They grow slowly and therefore do not stand much fishing pressure. For this reason more and more fishermen return their brown trout unharmed to the river. Fish larger than 2 lbs. are rare.

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Rainbow trout are not native to Denmark but are illegal escapees from fish farms on the rivers - or legal inhabitants of Put & Take waters. Unlike our native trout rainbow trout spawn in spring.

Grayling (Thymallus thymallus)

From nature's hand a true fish of West-Jutland. Still one of the strongest populations of Danish grayling is found in the upper eastbound River Guden where it was introduced before World War Two. Grayling seldom grow much bigger than 2 lbs. and spawn in spring - just like rainbow trout. It is the fly fisherman's dream fish.

Whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus)

Whitefish are salmonids just like grayling but they prefer slower moving water. They also prosper in lakes or brackish water bays where they grow larger than in freshwater. Fish larger than 2 lbs. are considered big.

Coarse fish

Pike (Esox lucius)

Pike are the largest freshwater fish in Denmark and may weigh over 50 lbs. Pike larger than 20 lbs. are caught regularly but generally fish larger than 10 lbs. are considered big. Pike like the slow moving parts of larger rivers where they prefer the vegetation zone near the shoreline.

Perch (Perca fluviatilis)

Perch prefer the same slow moving stretches of the larger river as do pike. Some perch live all their life in freshwater while others migrate out into brackish waters like Bay of Randers. Here they can be encountered during the months of summer and autumn while they spend the winter back up in the river. Perch larger than 2 lbs. are considered big.

Pikeperch (Lucioperca lucioperca)

A large and very tasty fish that may weigh 20 lbs. Fish larger than 10 lbs. are rare though. Pikeperch thrive in the lower parts of larger rivers like the River Guden where they like to lie in stretches with a moderate current and a firm river bed. Often they are caught while fishing for salmon and sea trout.

Bream (Abramis brama)

One of the most common freshwater fish of East-Jutland where it can be found almost everywhere - in canals and slow moving stretches of larger rivers. It feeds mainly on chironomid larvae that are sucked from the bottom with its extractable mouth. A popular fish in the lower section of larger rivers where 4-6 lbs. fish are not unheard of.

Roach (Rutilus rutilus)

The silvery and red finned roach is common to all of East-Jutland. A popular fish that always seems to be in a taking mood. Fish larger than 1 lbs. are considered big.


- Are you planning to visit East-Jutland, and are you uncertain as to how to approach the local fishing?

Then feel free to contact Steen Ulnits, fisheries biologist, 20+ book author, keen fisherman, TV producer, photographer and webmaster of this website, and book him for guiding. You can do this on an hourly or daily basis.

Apart from travelling the Globe and guiding trips to exotic parts of this Earth, Steen Ulnits has been fishing the waters of East Jutland for more than 30 years.

Thus you are in good hands - be it in freshwater or saltwater, flyfishing or spinning, walking, wading or boating!

© 2000 Steen Ulnits
Skytten 116, Fiskergaarden - DK-8900 Randers - Denmark
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