Fly fishing no-kill zones: a possible way to conjugate conservation issues, sustainable sport enhancement and local development in Alpine areas?


  • Stefano Fenoglio | Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Turin, Italy.
  • Marco Baltieri ATAAI-Associazione Tutela Ambienti Acquatici e Ittiofauna, Luserna San Giovanni , Italy.
  • Paolo Lo Conte Funzione Specializzata Tutela Fauna e Flora, Città Metropolitana di Torino, Turin, Italy.
  • Francesca Marucco Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Turin, Italy.
  • Carlo Ruffino ATAAI-Associazione Tutela Ambienti Acquatici e Ittiofauna, Luserna San Giovanni , Italy.
  • Alberto Doretto Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale "Amedeo Avogadro", Alessandria, Italy.


The promotion of sustainable tourism and outdoor sports can represent an important way to couple environmental conservation strategies and economic enhancement in marginal and Alpine areas. In this context catch and release fly fishing zones can represent an interesting tool, although no data is available on the effectiveness of these practices on Alpine salmonid population dynamics. Salmonids are the main group of fish in alpine rivers and they are the only actively targeted by anglers. Aim of this work is filling this gap, with a pilot study on two no-kill zones (Po and Pellice rivers, NW Italy). We conducted a temporal and spatial comparison between free-fishing and catch and release management river sections, with a detailed analysis on the Po River site. Our results support the hypothesis that catch and release management allows a numerical increase in wild trout populations. In particular, we detected a massive and rapid increase in younger individuals, possibly linked to a stop on the removal of large-sized reproducers. Protecting trout by the implementation of this practice can at the same time allow the increase of sustainable economic development and sport in marginal areas.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Albert JS, Destouni G, Duke-Sylvester SM, Magurran AE, Oberdorff T, Reis RE, Ripple WJ, 2020. Scientists’ warning to humanity on the freshwater biodiversity crisis. Ambio 50:85–94. DOI:

Arlinghaus R, Cooke SJ, Lyman J, Policansky D, Schwab A, Suski C, Sutton SG, Thorstad EB, 2007. Understanding the complexity of catch-and-release in recreational fishing: an integrative synthesis of global knowledge from historical, ethical, social, and biological perspectives. Rev. Fish. Sci. 15:75-167. DOI:

Bartholomew A, Bohnsack JA, 2005. A review of catch-and-release angling mortality with implications for no-take reserves. Rev. Fish Biol. Fish. 15:129-154. DOI:

Brocherie F, Girard O, Mille, GP, 2015. Emerging environmental and weather challenges in outdoor sports. Climate 3:492-521. DOI:

Bruno MC, Maiolini B, Carolli M, 2016. Settling distances of benthic invertebrates in a sediment mobilization simulation in semi-natural flumes. J. Limnol. 75:1324. DOI:

Carrer F, Walsh K, Mocci F, 2020. Ecology, economy, and upland landscapes: socio-ecological dynamics in the Alps during the transition to modernity. Hum. Ecol. 48:69-84. DOI:

Cooke SJ, Schramm HL, 2007. Catch-and-release science and its application to conservation and management of recreational fisheries. Fish. Manag. Ecol. 14:73–79. DOI:

Doretto A, Bona F, Falasco E, Morandini D, Piano E, Fenoglio S, 2020. Stay with the flow: How macroinvertebrate communities recover during the rewetting phase in Alpine streams affected by an exceptional drought. Riv. Res. Appl. 36:91-101. DOI:

Falasco E, Piano E, Doretto A, Fenoglio S, Bona F, 2018. Lentification in Alpine rivers: patterns of diatom assemblages and functional traits. Aquat. Sci. 80:36-44. DOI:

Falasco E, Alberto D, Fenoglio S, Piano E, Bona F, 2020. Supraseasonal drought in an Alpine river: effects on benthic primary production and diatom community. J. Limn. 79:1933. DOI:

Fenoglio S, Tiziano B, Cammarata M, López-Rodríguez MJ, Tierno de Figueroa JM, 2015. Seasonal variation of allochthonous and autochthonous energy inputs in an alpine stream. J. Limnol. 74:1082. DOI:

Gruppuso L, Doretto A, Piano E, Falasco E, Bruno MC, Bona F, Fenoglio S, 2021. Effects of flow intermittence on ecosystem processes in mountain streams: are artificial and field experiments comparable? Fundam. Appl. Limnol. 195:39-59. DOI:

Jeppesen E, Meerhoff M, Davidson TA, Trolle D, Sondergaar DM, Lauridsen TL, Beklioglu M, Brucet S, Volta P, González-Bergonzoni I, Nielsen A, 2014. Climate change impacts on lakes: an integrated ecological perspective based on a multi-faceted approach, with special focus on shallow lakes. J. Limn. 73:88-111. DOI:

Jonsson B, Jonsson N, 2011. Ecology of Atlantic salmon and brown trout: habitat as a template for life histories. Cham, Springer: 732 pp. DOI:

Larios-López JE, Tierno de Figueroa JM, Galiana-García, M, Gortázar J, Alonso C, 2015. Extended spawning in brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations from the Southern Iberian Peninsula: the role of climate variability. J. Limnol. 74:1089. DOI:

Lennon RE, Parker PS, 1960. The fishing-for-fun program in Great Smokey Mountain National Park Proc. Soc. Am. Forest. 1796:106-111.

Lobón-Cerviá J, Sanz N, 2018. Brown trout: Biology, ecology and management. Chichester, J. Wiley & Sons: 790 pp. DOI:

Lorenzoni M, Carosi A, Giovannotti M, La Porta G, Splendiani A, Caputo Barucchi V, 2019. Ecology and conservation of the Mediterranean trout in the central Apennines (Italy). J. Limnol. 78:1806. DOI:

Penczak T, Głowacki Ł, 2008. Evaluation of electrofishing efficiency in a stream under natural and regulated conditions. Aquat. Living Resour. 21:329–337. DOI:

Piano E, Doretto A, Falasco E, Fenoglio S, Gruppuso L, Nizzoli D, Viaroli P, Bona F, 2019. If Alpine streams run dry: the drought memory of benthic communities. Aquat. Sci. 81:1-14. DOI:

Risley CA, Zydlewski J, 2010. Assessing the effects of catch-and-release regulations on a brook trout population using an age-structured model. N. Am. J. Fish. Manag. 30:1434-1444. DOI:

Schisler GJ, Bergersen EP, 1996. Postrelease hooking mortality of rainbow trout caught on scented artificial baits. N. Am. J. Fish. Manag. 16:570-578. DOI:<0570:PHMORT>2.3.CO;2

Tonkin JD, Poff NL, Bond NR, Horne A, Merritt DM, Reynolds LV, Olden JD, Ruhi A, Lytle DA, 2019. Prepare river ecosystems for an uncertain future. 570:301-303. DOI:

Uesugi A, Kudo Y, 2020. The relationship between outdoor sport participants’ place attachment and pro-environment behaviour in natural areas of Japan for developing sustainable outdoor sport tourism. Eur. J. Sport Soc. 17:162-179. DOI:

Wheeller B., Hall CM, 2021. Fish tales, red herrings: (and gaffes?). Scand. J. Hosp. Tour. 2021. Online ahead of print. DOI:

Zippin C, 1958. The removal method of population estimation. J. Wildl. Manage. 22:82-90. DOI:

80 Years of the Journal of Limnology
catch and release; Salmo trutta; Salmo marmoratus; outdoor sport; fishing management
  • Abstract views: 111

  • PDF_early view: 15
How to Cite
Fenoglio S, Baltieri M, Lo Conte P, Marucco F, Ruffino C, Doretto A. Fly fishing no-kill zones: a possible way to conjugate conservation issues, sustainable sport enhancement and local development in Alpine areas?. J Limnol [Internet]. 2021 Jul. 13 [cited 2021 Jul. 28];. Available from:

Most read articles by the same author(s)