Fish migration: discofish in the North Sea Canal

Published on
April 8, 2018

This spring, a large-scale study will take place into the migration of three-spined sticklebacks and glass eels (young eel) in the North Sea Canal area. Thousands of fish will be caught near IJmuiden and, after colour marking, released in groups.

These 'discofish' are caught with special traps at IJmuiden and at various fish passages along the North Sea Canal, and also in the lift nets of volunteers. These volunteers carry out research - or sampling - twice a week at nine locations along the North Sea Canal.

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Last Monday, 16 April, more than 8,000 specimens were released in several groups near IJmuiden. The release takes place on both sides of the sea locks so that we can measure the delay that the animals experience during their migration. The distribution of the animals along the canal also indicates where the most important migration locations are. With the help of tagged fish, the functioning of a number of fish passages is also investigated.

Ultimately, the study should lead to recommendations for further optimisation of fish migration in the North Sea Canal area. A large number of parties are involved in this study. Clients are Rijkswaterstaat WNN, the province of North Holland, the Water Boards Hollands Noorderkwartier and Rijnland and Water Board Amstel, Gooi and Vecht. The municipality of Amsterdam, Port of Amsterdam and Sportvisserij MidWest Nederland are also contributing. The research is carried out by Wageningen Marine Research, Visserijservice Nederland, Visserijbedrijf P. Ruiter, Ravon and FishFlow Innovations.

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