Fishing for Food at Lake Trasimeno

Lake Trasimeno is the cleanest lake in Umbria, Europe, teeming with fish which supports the fishermen community. The fish caught include carp, pike, tench, and eel using sustainable techniques. Fish enthusiasts conduct fishing expeditions, and the bounty of unique fish makes them come back for more.

Making a Living

Fishing at Lake Trasimeno has been going on for many centuries, and this is the key source of income for the people living alongside this lake.  There are many species in this lake, and they are used for sport and professional fishing. However, fishing here is as per the regulations of the Perugia authorities. The fishermen in Trasimeno use non-intensive fishing methods to trap fish with nets and funnel-shaped throats. Fish enters the nets, and the traps are checked every alternate day. The fish stay alive until the fishermen pull it out. However, the smaller fish gets thrown back. Likewise, the quantity of fish caught is based on the time of the day, wind, weather, season, and temperature. Some of the other common fish like tench, trout, carp, and Pike, the Crayfish was also introduced by unknown sources into the lake. At Lake Trasimeno, you can find eels, though recently the eel population has depleted to a great extent.

The Wide-spread Boost in Fishing

The global competition has resulted in the fishermen joining the Trasimeno fishing coop to enjoy some financial stability. There are 35 members in this coop from San Feliciano, Sant’ Arcangelo, and Torricella villages.  Among these members, 30 retired and recently four new fishermen joined the coop assuring small-scale fishing on Trasimeno.

Aiming to attract younger enthusiasts the coop is trying to broaden and diversify a fisherman’s duties. Fishing tourism has been initiated, and there are plans to operate food trucks at festivals and food fairs. These plans will help to showcase the fish from Lake Trasimeno, and people can also open restaurants to serve people with fresh, daily catch. In this way, they believe that they can also educate the community about local seafood.

Favorable Fishing Features

Lake Trasimeno is rich in fish as it has favorable fishing features; the lake bed is low, and so it receives lots of sunlight thereby promoting the growth of vegetation and making it an ideal habitat for fish. In addition to this, there are no rivers to push contaminated water inside the lake and this region is not a sizeable pollution center. This high biodiversity has helped in having lots of fish; the fishermen here do not catch young fish. They also use different types of nets for their catch. For carp, they use a net with large holes which helps the smaller fish escape.

Tingling Your Tastebuds

There are mainly two dishes that are rooted in tradition, and they reveal the riches of the lake. The dishes are:

  1. Tegamaccio, a thick stew of perch, eel, and catfish. It is flavored with garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and Trasimeno olive oil. It is consumed with two white wines, Grechetto blend from Carini and Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, the other is a Grechetto from Todi.
  2. Umbria is a pig’s kingdom and so suckling pig is popular. It includes garlic, rosemary, wild fennel, minced lardo, and bay stuffed into the slits and stomach. Fish is roasted to turn dark brown in a wood-burning oven and served with the delicacy.