Creating a better environment for salmon in the River Nidelva

Last week, Agder Energi Vannkraft started work on creating a large nursery area for young salmon at Froland on the River Nidelva. This is one of the river’s most important spawning grounds for salmon.

 Here, boulders are laid out in groups in suitable places in the river. This creates good opportunities for salmon fry to hide.
Here, boulders are laid out in groups in suitable places in the river. This creates good opportunities for salmon fry to hide.

The work mainly involves putting out groups of stone blocks at suitable locations in the river. The blocks provide shelter for the young salmon, which is in short supply on this stretch of the river.


- This project is the continuation of a successful pilot in the autumn of 2018. It also comes under the umbrella of ‘Restoring salmon to the Nidelva’, a forum with representatives from the authorities, landowners and Agder Energi Vannkraft, explains Aleksander L. Andersen, a special advisor on environmental protection at Agder Energi.

 

Long-time perspective

Efforts to re-establish the salmon population in the River Nidelva have been going on for a long time. Agder Energi Vannkraft has previously put in place measures to allow salmon to migrate past the dams at Rygene and Evenstad. Thresholds have been removed from the minimum flow area at Rygene, and advanced fish guards have been installed across the discharge pipe from Rygene power station. In the autumn of 2017, a large new spawning ground was created at Blakstad in Froland, and in June 2018 another one was created downstream from Rygene dam.


This project, which has a budget of NOK 1 million, is being financed by Agder Energi and the County Governor of Agder. The project is also backed by Bra Miljöval, an eco-label run by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. The financing comes from a fund built up with the proceeds of Agder Energi’s sale of guarantees of origin from power plants that meet strict criteria established by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.


- We expect the planned measures to have a very positive impact on salmonids and biodiversity in general. If implemented properly, they will create a large area specifically designed as a good environment for young salmon and trout, who will be able to shelter between the blocks that have been put out, says Aleksander Andersen.