Projet Rijskwaterstaat

A first project to restore juvenile fish habitats for the Dutch water agency

La Rijkswaterstaat is the Dutch governmental organism managing the water, from the water supply to aquatic ecosystems, including waterways.

With their immense network of canals and ports, the Netherlands have lots of artificial areas, where available habitats for fish are few compared with the number of canals. There is therefore a strong interest in making “stepping stones“ with adapted habitat for fish juveniles in this network. This way it will be possible to maintain a good ecological connectivity between the different ecosystems and to protect the different aquatic species that live in these artificial waterbodies. A new solution for Dutch aquatic biodiversity.

The first aim of this project is to validate the Biohut artificial habitat among the different types of Dutch inland waters. This way, in April 2019, after several months of preliminary studies, 50 Biohut have been installed under pontoons of 6 sites all over the Netherlands. They contain different types of substrates to see which ones adapt better to the needs of local freshwater species. We used oyster shells like in most of our Biohut but also small oak logs and recycled expanded glass.

These Biohut and the species that live in them will be monitored during two years by an independent study office. After these two years, the results will lead to the validation of the proceed by Rijkswaterstaat, and will allow afterwards to extend the number of the Biohut to other locations in the Netherlands.

Long life to Dutch fishes !