Kosovo: Summer fish sampling

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Kosovo: Summer fish sampling

The original, which worked in a field under the new bridge, was bombed during the war a few years ago.

Kosovo in summer
June 2019

In the summer of 2019, we returned to Kosovo to study the Drin River at the University of Pristina. The last time it was cold and snowy was in 2017 (see: electrofishing-kosovo-2017 ).

In cooperation with the GRAPCI-KOTORI laboratory in Pristina, we participated in a project where students and teachers did their best to sample and study the fish population of about 100 kilometers in the White Drin since the beginning of the river near Peja. to the Albanian border. We electrofished, borrowed gear and boats from local fishermen, and documented 21 species of fish. We sent him to Athens and Prague to collect genetic material and made many interesting discoveries in this field of research.

I'm posting some photos, photos of me and Demetrius, some students. It was a wonderfully warm river in a hot, sunny summer, very different from typical Mediterranean rivers.

And Dimitris and I thank all our friends in this beautiful heart of the Balkans; Thanks to the research team: Linda Grabsa-Kotori, Donard Jesse, Khalil Brahimi, Astrit Bilali, Raynor Berisha, Les Kotori, Igzona Bebage and Irlinda Salauca. My sincere thanks also go to my colleagues at the HCMR in Athens (including H. Validis), Jasna Vukic and Radek Sanda in Prague for their genetic and geographical work.

Please see the recently published book "Aquatic Environment Knowledge and Management (KMAE)" about this exciting discovery:


Lamprey Eudontomyzon stankokaramani endemic to the river basin: one of the most interesting animals of the Drin basin.
Native to the Eastern Balkans... Sabanejewia balcanica - a recently transplanted species, probably introduced accidentally in this basin (we did not find it in the Black Drin basin in Albania).

The handsome cobitid, Cobitis ohridanus , is endemic to Ecorgion in the southeastern Adriatic.

Ecorgion A beautiful endemic species of southeastern Adriatic Sea, Alburnoides ohridanus during spawning - and migration to the center of White Drin.

A rare fish from Kosovo (!!) - our favorite river blenny, Salaria fluviatilis .
Champion of polluted waters, nutrients, and the captive, invasive alien Gudgeon Top-Mouth, Pseudorasbora parva !
Canyon whitewater drink. You can only explore here with a small boat.

a view of the almost pure river and the slopes of the Rogov region; Sampling here is a bit risky.

Most of the fish were very small - possibly the result of overfishing; This big squid was caught in a net in Rogov.

We electrofished from a boat in both areas. Here Demetrius and I are in the foreground with the electric apparatus and two nets, the fish being passed through buckets behind. It's not a good standard, it's fit for purpose and it worked!
A fish identification "workshop" in the middle of the river at the Nora site.



We stayed in Pea and took a day to hunt bugs near the Montenegrin border! Many of these trees are actually firs... (I could spend the summer here...).

The group prepares to investigate.

The artificial low barrier was the site of mass gatherings of migrating Sperling Albornoides Ohridanus .

Students and researchers work on the classification of fish samples.
Drink from the white springs in the cold water area of ​​the river.


A cold water area with few species of fish but lots of endemic trout and wild trout.

Crayfish are rare in Balkan rivers, and unfortunately this example is a thoroughbred Astacus astacus ; Great find in one of the cleanest areas of White Drin near Prizren.

Finally, on the last day of the study, we were in “Paris” Kosovo, Prizren!
Paris is better than Paris... Prizren!

Our research stations are in Kosovo on the White Dren. The river is the second major tributary of the Big Drin River. We visited 11 sites in the 100 kilometer section of the river. This is a work photo with Prof. Linda Grapsi-Cotori's lab (and thank you for this great map of the Balkan River landscape in the inner plain).





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