Fish Migration River

The construction of the Afsluitdijk had many positive effects, but according to nature experts it also damaged the natural environment. The closure created an impassable barrier for migratory fish. The Fish Migration River is an innovative plan to reconnect the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer. This will allow many species of migratory fish to reach their mating and living areas once again.


What is it?

The Fish Migration River is an opening in the Afsluitdijk through which migratory fish can swim to reach the IJsselmeer from the Wadden Sea and vice versa. This is because migratory fish require fresh and salt water for their life cycle. Due to dykes and dams such as the Afsluitdijk, this is either hardly possible, or entirely impossible. It is an important reason why migratory fish are doing so badly.

De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk wants to eliminate the obstacle for migratory fish with the innovative Fish Migration River. Millions of fish are now waiting in the Wadden Sea in front of the discharge sluices, like surfers. They can smell the fresh water and want to get inside. But the current is usually too strong for these migratory fish to swim against. A permanent opening via the Fish Migration River should make it possible again for these migratory fish to swim freely from fresh to salt water. Rijkswaterstaat is also taking measures to boost fish migration between the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer: fish-friendly sluice and lock management is used and a fish passage is being constructed at Den Oever. Together, these measures ensure that fish stocks are improved.

A unique project with a global appeal

It is a system that remains close to nature and functions optimally for fish and the ecosystem. There are about 200 similar situations worldwide. This makes it a unique project for the Dutch hydraulic engineering sector with an international appeal.

How the Fish Migration River works is explained in the animation below.




This project is part of De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk


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