Lake Inari is a subarctic, oligotrophic, regulated lake in northern Finland, connected via the Paatsjoki (Pasvik) River to the Arctic Ocean. A new coregonid species, the vendace (Coregonus albula), was introduced into the watershed in the 1960s and gradually established a population in the lake becoming part of its ecosystem. The annual vendace catch in 1989 reached 300 tonnes, while during the following 25 years the vendace catches declined stabilizing at a very low level. Vendace introduction radically changed the fishing practices within a short time, and its population became firmly established in the lake. It benefited both fisheries and predatory fishes, especially salmonids. The vendace year-class strength varied greatly between 1983 and 2019. According to winter seine CPUE data, the strongest year-classes were up to 100 times greater than the weakest ones. Winter seine CPUE of one-year-old fish correlated positively with catches in the coming years. The growth data for the period 2015–2021 revealed a decrease in the youngest vendace age-groups.
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Vol. 58 • No. 4-6