River fish are massively affected by the loss of habitat diversity and dynamics as well as the wave impact of constantly increasing shipping traffic. Therefore, the reactivation of side arms protected from the impact of waves, still water bays and flat overflown gravel banks are of special importance in the revitalisation of the Danube. The near-natural Pielach river is the most important tributary of the Danube in the Wachau. Unhindered spawning migrations of Danube fish such as the common nase, barbel and Danube salmon into the Pielach are of major ecological significance.
This LIFE project envisages measures on various rivers: in the Wachau, silted up side arms are already being reconnected to the Danube at Schönbühel and in the vicinity of Emmersdorf, which could allow the creation of new, expansive aquatic landscapes. The branching of the Pielach mouth, the fish-passable connection of the Lateiner old arm to the Danube and ecological improvements in the hillside forests on the lower reaches of the Pielach are complementing the efforts being made for this important tributary river of the Wachau.
Project promoter: Province of Lower Austria (Dept. of Hydraulic Engineering) with the participation of viadonau, the municipality of Amstetten, Stadtwerke Amstetten public utility board, Lower Austrian Provincial Fishing Association, research community LANIUS and of the Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (BMLFUW); the project management of the projects in the Wachau was carried out by the Arbeitskreis Wachau Regionalentwicklung (today Welterbegemeinden Wachau association) in cooperation with land.schafft technical agency.
Project duration: 2009 - 2014
Project costs: approx. €6,685,000 (50% EU), of which approx. half in the Wachau
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