Hydro Dam in Norway has been blown away recently. This is one of the biggest steps that has been taken towards environmental welfare recently. The demolition of the dam has created a huge buzz all over the world. Everybody has sat up and taken notice of the same.
People are very much impressed by the fact that Norway had the guts to blow up an entire dam. The dam in question was erected about one hundred years ago. A major reason for the demolition of the same was its positioning. The hydro dam was located in such a place that it caused significant hindrances to the fish.
Migratory fishes couldn’t travel freely because of the huge dam. The Tromsa river in Norway is home to a large number of exotic sea creatures. One of the main attractions of the river is the migratory fish.
Unfortunately, these fishes found it very difficult to move freely. This was large because the dam provided a gigantic stumbling block to their path. Tore Solbakken is an important member of the Norwegian angling club Gudbrandsdal Sportsfiskeforening. Tore was the first individual to discover the problem.
Tore saw that the river’s health and the ecosystem were being largely affected by the dam. Tore immediately began to initiate a campaign for this cause. In the first few days, Tore was all alone. No one paid much attention to the cause. However, gradually, people began understanding the problem.
This turned the issue into a very strong campaign. More and more people joined hands to make this a success. The fight continued for five long years. Finally, they were successful in removing the hydro dam from the river. Tore was very much happy about what had happened. The activist stated that the main intention behind the campaign was to promote the health of the river.
The campaign also looked after the fish population. More free movement would actually help the fishes to maximize their population. Let us learn more about the story in detail below.
Hydro Dam Sacrificed In Norway
A Hydro Dam has been demolished to make way for exotic and migratory fishes. They can now move freely all over the river without being blocked by a man-made structure. The dam in question was erected way back in 1916. It was a seven-meter high structure and was located in the town of Favang.
Favang is a part of Innlandet, located in the eastern part of Norway. The hydro dam was initially a very important part of Norway. However, gradually, with other advanced dams erected, this one lost its significance.
The dam became neglected and soon it was abandoned. The dam remained unused for fifty long years. This made things very much difficult for the fishes in the territory.
An abandoned dam served as a huge concrete block that did not let the fish swim freely. Tromsa is a part of the river Lagen. Lagen mixes directly into one of the biggest lakes of Norway, Mjosa. The activists were vociferous to take down the dam for the welfare of the fish. They claimed that the removal of the hydro dam will provide enough breathing space for fishes.
They also stated that this move would also help some of the fishes to thrive again. The lake is home to a number of rare and exotic species of fish. The Common Minnows, Alpine Bullhead, Burbot, and Grayling are some of the fishes that thrive in the region. A recent study has stated that the most beneficial group of fish will be the lake-dwelling trout.
These trouts are the most commonly found fishes in the area. They are huge in size and weigh in at about 10 kg on average. These marine creatures usually roam around the lake downstream and in regions of the Lagen lake.
However, due to the presence of the hydro dam, these fishes used to swim up to 950 meters. Now they can freely go up the river about 10 km on average.
Hydro Dam Removal Largely Beneficial For The Marine Life
Solbakken got a lot of attention after the hydro dam was destroyed. The activist was asked by the media about the whereabouts of the campaign. Tore stated that he watched a documentary named DamNation.
This documentary made him realize the hindrances caused by abandoned dams. He went about in search of dams that were no longer in use. He started building roads, hydro dams, fish barriers that might be a useful method to prevent flooding. However, it also has a huge downside for the creatures living inside the water. Such barriers pose a lot of problems for fishes like trout.
Tore stated that it was mandatory to look after the health of fish and small rivers. One should not be only concerned about industrial progress. Solbakken believed that the protection of rivers is an efficient method to make the future environmentally secure.
Hydro Dam No Longer A Barrier For Norwegian Trouts
The process of the demolition of the dam was a part of a huge project namely, the Open Rivers Program. This initiative was taken up to clean up the abandoned structures that posed a hindrance in the waterways all across Europe.
The program was sanctioned in the month of October. It had an initial budget of €42.5 million. The money was provided to fund the expenses required to demolish the hydro dams. Such a noble and huge initiative was launched by Arcadia.
Arcadia is one of the renowned charitable funds that work towards various noble causes. The Commission of Europe has recently released guidelines about how to identify barriers in the rivers. The aim is to remove all such stumbling blocks as soon as possible. The commission has taken a pledge to restore about 25000 km of free-flowing rivers by the year 2030. Herman Wanningen is the head of the Foundation of Fish Migration In The World.
Herman is also associated with “Dam Removal Europe”. Herman agreed to the fact that these structures are indeed hazardous for fishes. Wanningen stated that certain species of fish require a lot of traveling to grow and complete their cycle of life. Sturgeon, Atlantic Salmon, and the electric eel are some such species of fish that require extensive traveling.
Hydro Dams also restrict the inflow of important nutrients for the fish. Sometimes, setting up a hydro dam changes the flow of the river in a completely different way. This makes life very much difficult for the fish as their natural habitat and breathing space are lost. A recent study has revealed a shocking set of news.
The study was directed towards finding concrete barriers across the waterways of Europe. The number was staggering. The study found out that there were about a 1.2million barriers that hindered the lifecycle of the fish. This led to a drastic drop in the migratory fishes all over Europe.
The numbers have gone down by as much as ninety percent between 1970 and 2016. Thus, the demolition of unused hydro dams is very much important for the welfare of migratory fishes.