Wild smolt (young salmon) production in relation to potential smolt production capacity is the major measure under the management objectives of Baltic salmon. Stocks producing a combined approximate 90% of all wild smolts are assessed using a state-of-the-art Bayesian modelling framework. The results of the model are used as a basis for the computations of stock projections under different fishing scenarios.
For sea trout, alternative management measures to be used and the related assessment methodologies are under development. This work has been carried out for example in the Workshop on Sea Trout (WKTRUTTA).
In 2013 the total nominal Baltic salmon landings, including commercial and recreational catch in the sea and rivers, numbered 160 000 (1000 tonnes). The total estimated harvest rate in the commercial fisheries was at an all-time low. About 65% of the reported landings was attributed to commercial fisheries; in addition discarding, non-reporting and misreporting made up roughly 20% of the total catch. The total smolt production was about 7 million, about 70% of which were hatchery-reared smolts released to compensate for the naturally born ones that have been lost in the dammed rivers.
In the mixed-stock fisheries, only about 30% of landings are currently of reared origin, which indicates a lower survival rate of reared than of wild smolts. The survival of salmon during the first year at sea was decreasing, especially during the period 1995–2005, but indications in improvement have been noticed in the last few years. The latest positive turn in survival will probably lead many salmon stocks to recover closer to their potential smolt production capacity by 2020.
In 2013 total nominal sea trout landings were at 390 tonnes, a number which may be heavily overestimated due to possible misreporting of salmon as trout. About 55% was attributed to commercial fisheries. Catch numbers made in recreational fisheries, however, are known but with little accuracy. About 3.5 million sea trout smolts have been released annually in the latest years. Estimates of wild smolt production is available from a part of sea trout stocks but the total smolt production in the whole Baltic Sea level is unknown.