A lot can be said about Czechs. In addition to having golden hands, they're also passionate dog owners, mushroom pickers, and most importantly fishermen. The annual festival for fishing enthusiasts is finally here! From yesterday to Sunday, the For Fishing Fair is held in Letňany, Prague. A rich program has been prepared for the visitors, including a mobile laboratory, brought here by the Biology Center of the Academy of Sciences. Fishermen can learn various skills here, such as how to tell the age of a fish by its scales.
Fish, much like trees, have their annual rings. In case of fish, experts call them annuli. When the fish is large and has large scales, you can see them with the naked eye or against the light.
"The common carp is perfect for this. The Christmas carp. It has large scales, so when you bring it home, all you need is good light or a magnifying glass,"
researcher Jaroslava Frouzová from the Biology Center shared a well-proven trick of spotting the annuli in home environment, adding that in case of smaller fish, a microscope is required.
Moreover, you don't need to kill the fish. You simply take one of its scales. Be careful not to take one from the sideline or a regenerate. It has to be a perfectly healthy scale.
"You see the individual increments there. Fish, since they are cold-blooded animals, grow more in the summer season and then growth halts in the winter, because their metabolism slows down. Same as with trees, you can observe the growing of annual rings, scientifically called annuli,"
"We study water reservoirs, water ecosystems. For example, how many fish there are in the tank, what is their quality of life, what diseases they suffer from. We use a variety of devices to find out all this. Here you can see the most modern echolots that are available in the world. We have a variety of catch nets on display, we show people how we get fish samples, and you can also see how we collect samples from the fish, such as scales and otoliths,"
An ordinary person might wonder, why any of that should matter. According to the experts, it's necessary to know what conditions are in the tanks, because the quality of the fish depends on it.
"If you have, say, algae problems or cyanobacteria growing in your tank, you need to find out what's going on in the tank. Everything is related to everything,"
More than 200 companies offering various novelties and gadgets for fishing present themselves at the 11th edition of the trade fair. With this number, the fair surpassed all previous years and is thus the largest so far.
As a part of the accompanying program, well-known Czech fishermen, such as Jakub Vágner and Roman Matula, will give their lectures. Even the world renowned carp angler Alain Blair visited Prague to attend the fair.
The exhibition ground in Letňany will be hosting the trade fair until Sunday. It spreads over five halls in total and is divided according to fishing techniques for easier orientation.