Fish return to formerly polluted Rhine river

9th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 February 2005, IFFEZHEIM - An underwater camera that takes a mug shot of every passing fish proves that underwater life is returning to the formerly polluted Rhine river in unprecedented numbers, a German public official said on Wednesday. European nations have been working since the 1970s to reduce sewage dumping and farm run-off into Europe's second-longest river, which rises in the Alps and flows into the sea at Rotterdam after passing through five countries. Salmon, which disappeared from the Rhine i

9 February 2005

IFFEZHEIM - An underwater camera that takes a mug shot of every passing fish proves that underwater life is returning to the formerly polluted Rhine river in unprecedented numbers, a German public official said on Wednesday.

European nations have been working since the 1970s to reduce sewage dumping and farm run-off into Europe's second-longest river, which rises in the Alps and flows into the sea at Rotterdam after passing through five countries.

Salmon, which disappeared from the Rhine in 1935, returned and the first of the new generation was caught in 1996, just below the Iffezheim wier near Baden-Baden. A ladder that lets the fish pass the dam and swim upriver to the salmon spawning grounds opened in 2000.

The Iffezheim ladder comprises a 300-metre-long series of 37 basins that rise 11 metres all told. Last year, 27,284 fish jumped from pool to pool to the top of the dam and wiggled off towards Lake Constance.

That was nearly 5,000 more than the previous year. Each fish has to swim past the digital camera, and its shadow triggers the shutter.

Most of the fish are bream (Abramis brama) or barbel (Barbus barbus) but salmon and trout are no longer rarities, said Frank Hartmann, a fisheries spokesman at the Karlsruhe District Government.

DPA

Subject: German news

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