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Bike migration stops at the Vezins Dam

Rik Bomer started cycling in April 2018 from Madrid to Groningen visiting on his way amazing rivers and people. In his words: “I want to learn more about river restoration, dam removal, fish passage, water quality & overall free-flowing rivers”. Last week his visited the Vezins Dam in France. Which will be removed in 2019.

Below you can read this months’ story by Rik.

The Happy Fish Journey is me, Rik Bomer, cycling from Madrid (Spain) back to the north of the Netherlands. During this time I am investigating everything about rivers!

Today this great bike migration had to stop. I had to because of this 35m high barrier called the Vezins Dam. Not because I am a fish and could not swim any further, but because of the sheer magnitude of this hydropower dam. This dam will be removed next spring to restore river connectivity and it will be the biggest dam removal project in Europe until nowadays.

When I rode to the dam, I was very dissapointed to read different posters with wrong information about what will happen when the dam is removed, like “Without barriers, destructive flooding will return”. However, behind the posters I only saw people working very hard to recover the river and its biodiversity.

In the near future, I will talk with different experts about this case and share my findings on the Dam Removal Europe site.

Photos © Rik Bomer

When I rode to the dam, I was very dissapointed to read different posters with wrong information about what will happen when the dam is removed, like “Without barriers, destructive flooding will return”. However, behind the posters I only saw people working very hard to recover the river and its biodiversity.

In the near future, I will talk with different experts about this case and share my findings on the Dam Removal Europe site.

The Research Coordination Team (Fraisse Stéphane, Baglinière Jean-Luc and Roussel Jean-Marc) based on the INRA-Agrocampus-Ouest Ecology and Ecosystems Health (Rennes, France) informed us this week that the Selune River is on its way to return to a free-flowing river through the removal of two big barriers, the Vezins (32 m) and La Roche qui boit (16m) dams. The technical operations to block the contaminated sediment by heavy metals has been achieved in May of 2018, and now the drawdown of Vezins is in progress to be achieved next September. The removal of the biggest dam will occur in 2020 and the smallest in 2021.  The pre-removal phase of the scientific program, monitoring the river ecological restoration, is finishing and allowed to characterize the watercourse’s current state. Furthermore, an official agreement has been signed this past May between financial partners, the French Government and INRA (in charge of this scientific program) to continue the monitoring at least until 2027.

To learn more about the Selune River dam removals scientific research please go to: selune-river-restoration.inra.fr 

Visit The Happy Fish Journey website to learn more about Rik his trip around Europe and to follow him on social media.

Visit Happy Fish Journey