Potential effects of global climate change on fisheries in the Trasimeno lake (Italy), with special reference to the goldfish Carassius auratus invasion and the endemic southern pike Esox cisalpinus decline.
Global climate changes have led to a gradual warming of the planet, resulting in decreased precipitation and rising temperatures in Mediterranean inland waters. In Trasimeno Lake, the largest shallow lake in Italy, some non-native fish species have probably benefited from these changes as they are thermophilic and characterised by wider habitat preferences. Fish data collected by gillnets and fyke nets between 1956 and 2016, and by electrofishing in 1993 and 2014, were used to analyse changes over time in the fish community in relation to environmental conditions. An explosion in goldfish Carassius auratus (L.), following its introduction in 1988, coupled with water level fluctuations and reduced transparency, contributed to the reduction in commercial fish catch in the lake, and to the decline of the endemic southern pike Esox cisalpinus Bianco & Delmastro, already threatened by reduced spawning habitat and interspecific competition with other non-native predatory fishes.