Practical advice for building fish migration aids

News & Media

Vienna, 26 March 2013. The ICPDR has published a manual with practical advice for measures that aim to ensure fish migration at transverse structures such as dams and weirs.

a hand holding a fish

The document “Measures for ensuring fish migration at transverse structures”, which can be downloaded below or ordered in print at the ICPDR Secretariat, aims to inform the Danubian countries on solutions for restoring river continuity.

Several guiding documents for the construction of fish passes were reviewed by the authors Stefan Schmutz and Carina Mielach. Most of them were originally published in German, a publication of a guidance document in English should help to disseminate knowledge on state-of-the-art fish passes throughout the Danube River Basin.


River and habitat continuity interruptions constitute a major pressure and are defined as part of hydro-morphological alterations as a Significant Water Management Issue (SWMI) in the Danube River Basin (DRB).

The assessments undertaken in the course of the elaboration of the 1st Danube River Basin Management Plan (DRBMP) in 2009 showed for the Danube and its major tributaries the presence of more than 900 continuity interruptions, stemming from different infrastructure projects such as flood protection, hydropower generation and navigation. In addition to the transversal structures in the main rivers, a large number of barriers are also located in the smaller rivers of the basin.

These structures represent barriers for fish migration and are therefore influencing natural migration patterns of migratory fish species by preventing access to habitats and suitable spawning grounds. Addressing these pressures by implementing suitable measures constitutes a major challenge for the improvement of environmental conditions and for the achievement of the objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).

You can either download the brochure “Measures for ensuring fish migration at transverse structures” below or order it in print from the ICPDR Secretariat:

ICPDR Secretariat
Vienna International Centre, Room D0412
Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1220 Vienna, Austria
E-Mail: vpcqe@haivraan.betgro.anneivnu@rdpci

European Union This document was developed with the support of EU Grant DRBMP-2012.