The ichthyofauna of the upper Neretva River


  • Jakob Neuburg University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna
  • Thomas Friedrich University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna
  • Elisabeth Haring Natural History Museum Vienna, Maria-Theresien-Platz 1010 Vienna
  • Sarah Höfler Blattfisch e.U. – Consultants in Aquatic Ecology and Engineering, Leopold-Spitzer-Straße 26, 4600 Wels
  • Ana Maric University of Belgrade, Faculty of Biology, Studentski treg 16, 11000 Belgrade
  • Saša Marić University of Belgrade, Faculty of Biology, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade
  • Stephanie Popp University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna
  • Predrag Simonović University of Belgrade, Faculty of Biology, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade
  • Aleš Snoj University of Ljubljana, Department of Animal Science, Biotechnical Faculty, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana
  • Simona Sušnik Bajec University of Ljubljana, Department of Animal Science, Biotechnical Faculty, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana
  • Simon Vitecek University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna
  • Alexandra Wanka Natural History Museum Vienna, Maria-Theresien-Platz 1010 Vienna
  • Steven Weiss University of Graz, Faculty of Natural Sciences Universitätsplatz 2, 8010 Graz
  • Kurt Pinter University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna



fish stock assessment, electrofishing, snorkelling, eDNA, genetics, hydropower, Salmo obtusirostris


Fish were sampled at nine locations of the upper Neretva River, upstream of Glavatičevo. Evidence of the endangered softmouth trout (Salmo obtusirostris) was obtained as well as the presence of other native and non-native salmonids. Genetic analysis suggests that the native brown trout (Salmo trutta) in the upper Neretva is homogeneous with no significant introgression by introduced Atlantic-lineage brown trout and quantitative catch data show that their populations are healthy with densities above 1,000 ind/ha. However, the relatively low biomass estimates may be the result of overharvesting. A new haplotype of the mitochondrial control region of the bullhead (Cottus gobio) was detected and confirmation of native S. trutta, Barbatula barbatula, Phoxinus sp., and C. gobio in the upper reaches, underlining the importance of this river stretch. The planned expansion of hydropower plants in the upper Neretva and its tributaries will have a significant negative impact on the largely untouched ichthyofauna, as is clearly demonstrated by the conditions found in the middle course of the river, which has been dedicated to hydropower production.


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How to Cite

Neuburg, J., Friedrich, T., Haring, E., Höfler, S., Maric, A., Marić, S., Popp, S., Simonović, P., Snoj, A., Sušnik Bajec, S., Vitecek, S., Wanka, A., Weiss, S., & Pinter, K. (2023). The ichthyofauna of the upper Neretva River. Natura Sloveniae, 25(3), 155–180.

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