About the project

Development of strategy for mitigation of river fragmentation impacts in the hydrological network of the Czech Republic

The project „Development of strategy for mitigation of river fragmentation impacts in the hydrological network of the Czech Republic“(EHP-CZ02-OV-1-016-2014) were based on the actual conditions of migration permeability of watercourses in the Czech Republic. The project was implemented with the help of EEA Grants, The CZ02 Programme – Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services / Monitoring and Integrated Planning and Control in the Environment / Adaptation to Climate Changes in the period from 1. 1. 2015 to 30. 4. 2017. The implementation of the project was ensured by the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) in cooperation with Czech partners T. G. Masaryk Water Research Institute, Beleco, z. s. and foreign partner Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). The partnership determined the responsibility for specific parts of the project that were divided into particular activities.

The main aims of the project were based on the actual conditions of migration permeability of watercourses in the Czech Republic and were mainly focused on document the condition of watercourses fragmentation in order to propose a procedure for removing migration barriers, on improve the knowledge of fish migration, including the evaluation of the effectiveness of previously implemented fish ladders and further on disclose the data mentioned above to target groups in sufficient degree of interpretation.

Particular activities were broke down to achieve the optimal targeting of subsidy instruments of MoE in the area of reducing the fragmentation of river ecosystems and the specific (localized) proposals for action in the context of water management planning (programming period 2021- 2027), to correct or complete the conceptual and methodological documents including the development strategy of migration permeability of watercourses based on the obtained data.

Specific project activities:


A1) Development of strategy for migration permeability of watercourses

The aim of the project was develop a comprehensive strategy for interventional watercourses. In this area the current situation of watercourses fragmentation was evaluated, the streams were classified according to the urgency for solution and the schedule of solutions were set up.

During the condition survey basic information about cross-objects (the type, current state, etc.) were collected, as well as the degree of their barrier effect. Based on additional analysis of the interventional watercourses, the categorization according to urgency from the possibility point of view were set.

Stated analysis were complemented by numerical functional analysis of historical and current areas of target species of fish and lampreys, analysis of the interaction of cross barriers with ecological states and hydrological situation, including the prediction of migration options.

The literary searches of watercourses fragmentation issue in relation to the hydrology in terms of minimum and environmental flows were compiled. The issues of the impact of water use on the watercourses fragmentation were generalized for the needs of the overall strategy and were finalized in detail for streams in national parks.

The resulting spatial and descriptive data were gathered in a single database operating under the Information System of Conservation (ISOP). The database is accessible via remote access through modules defined according to user needs (target group). The output show a map of these barriers and a set of attributes associated with the individual obstacles (basic information about the obstruction, photographs, etc.). Within the database well-arranged user manual were created.

A2) Monitoring of migration and fish populations

The monitoring of fish migration in previously realized measures – fish ladders were carried out. As well as the monitoring of bidirectional migration of two flagship fish species – European eel and Atlantic salmon in their native range (Elbe River basin). Consequently with monitoring of migrating individuals, monitoring of hydrological dynamics as crucial factors influencing migration itself were carried out. The aim of this activity were completed the information about the evaluation of current success rate of particular solutions and creating of the suggestions for application of model realizations of migration permeability in operation. The overview of the occurrence of subjects of protection (fish and lampreys) in fragmentation endangered SCI´s were processed as well.

A3) Preparation of pilot projects

The feasibility studies for specific solutions of selected key cross barriers in the Czech Republic were conducted within the pilot projects.   Mainly Střekov Hydroelectric Power Plant and obstacles in the Czech Switzerland National Park territory were dealt with due to their current priority importance from the spawning migration of salmon and other anadromous fish point of view.

A4) Project Publicity

Besides the "mandatory" publicity of the project which were set by the terms of the EEA funds, the presentation of results to professional as well as to general public were a concern of project performers in order to get the feedback within solved issue. This includes conferences, seminars, on-line tracking of migrating fish etc. The principal activities were also sharing the knowledge and experience comparison with the Norwegian project partner, which were taken place in the planned workshops.