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Open rivers – Dam Removal seminar, the Netherlands/Belgium

Date: 6 April 2018

On Friday the 6thof April a seminar on the removal of dams and weirs was celebrated in Gravenvoeren, in north of Belgium on the border with the Netherlands. This was jointly organized by the Dutch/Flanders Vissennetwerk and the Dam Removal Europe program

Bart Geenen of WWF explained the Dam Removal Europe program and the reasons behind it. The biodiversity has gone done very strongly over the last decades, specifically in the fresh water systems as rivers, wetlands and deltas. The removal of dams is a very effective measure to address this and there are good show cases available. Jeroen van Herk of Dam Removal Europe addressed the possibilities of dam and weir removal in the Netherlands and launched a proposal to develop a program in the Netherlands. Antje Goedeking of the Wasserverband Eifel-Rur in Germany presented the work done in the Eifel-Rur river in Germany, potentially an important salmon river.

In the second part different, inspiring examples of weir removal in the Netherlands, Flanders and Denmark were addressed by Jan Kamman of Sport fishery Netherlands (Peizerdiep and Denmark), Matthijs de Vos of water authority Rijn en Ijssel (Boven Slinge) and Mieke de Wilde of the Vlaamse provincie Brabant (Molenbeek). Furthermore the bottum up process of the improvement of the river Mark was presented by Sjef Langeveld of the Vereniging Markdal.

The excursion was to the nearby river Berwijn, a tributary of the river Meuse. A concrete dam broke down several years ago due to flooding. As a result the river reshaped itself with natural meanders and special fish species as salmon, trout, barbel returned to the river. A together it as a very good and interesting Dam Removal event.

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