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The official promotional campaign of AMBER is launched! We are doing this with a new new video that explains all about the AMBER project and reveals the new style of the campaign. Watch the video below and share it in your network. 
The official AMBER - Let it flow video.

Loire-Allier River Case Study

Working with local hydro-power operators to facilitate downstream passage of Atlantic salmon in the Loire-Allier River.
Guest article by Patrick Martin - Conservatoire du Saumon Sauvage

With a drainage area of 117 000 km², the catchment of the Loire River is the largest in France (Fig 1.) The Allier River is the main tributary of the Loire, and is where most of the spawning areas for Atlantic salmon are found. 

Three dams, located between 793 and 825 km from the sea, block access by salmon to the best preserved spawning areas of the Allier River. It is estimated that these spawning areas represent 42 % of total potential productive areas of the Allier basin 

Fish approaching hydropower stations can pass downstream through turbines, over spillways, or though bypasses specifically designed for safe passage. Unless effective fish guidance or exclusion systems have been installed, turbines are often the primary route for downstream migrants, particularly during periods of low river discharge. Passage through turbines can cause high fish mortality. Mortality of salmon smolts during their downstream migration across different dams is difficult to measure (and no mortality data are available for these 3 dams in particular), but passage through turbines typically results in mortality rates that vary between 13 and 25 %, depending on turbine design and fish size...

Read the full article here

Getting past the barriers

How can we measure barrier impacts and passage improvements for fishes?
Guest article by Martyn Lucas - Durham University

Adult upstream-migrating river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis attempting to pass an obstacle at night. Image: Iain Russon
Adaptive management of river barriers to support natural ecological functioning necessitates an understanding of those processes. This includes determining the degree to which river engineering inhibits natural movements of organisms, what the impacts of altered movement patterns are, and how best to alleviate them. A familiar effect of dams and weirs is on the reduced passage of conspicuous river migrants, such as salmon and eels. However, we are increasingly interested in movements of a much wider range of species, from downstream dispersal and colonisation of water plants to the upstream colonisation capacity of invasive, non-native crayfishes. AMBER is helping develop methods to measure these processes. Yet a key requirement remains in how best to measure the degree of barrier effect that dams and weirs have on native fish movements, and how well mitigations such as fishways or modifications to dam management perform...
Read the full article here

A case study

Dams on Nalon-Narcea basin as case study from Asturias-Spain
By Eduardo Rodriques - University of Oviedo

AMBER’s researcher sampling water from Rioseco reservoir for further DNA extraction and biota inventory.

Asturias (43°20′0″N; 6°0′0″W), in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula (south Bay of Biscay), is a succession of mountains and valleys watered by short steep rivers. There are 8 small river basins throughout the region. The climate, landscape and ecosystem are similar to those of other temperate Atlantic European regions but with slightly warmer temperatures corresponding to relatively lower latitude. One of the most fragmented by dams and reservoirs is the Nalon-Narcea basin (Fig.1) where one of the AMBER case studies in the Iberian Peninsula is located, conducted by the University of Oviedo (Asturias-Spain)...
Read the full case study

The AMBER launch

The official launch of the H2020 AMBER project was celebrated in 8 different countries throughout Europe (Belgium, United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Germany). Click on one of the pictures below to read more about a country specific launch event.

AMBER partner updates

Twenty active partners together form the AMBER consortium. They include large hydropower businesses, rivers authorities, non-governmental organisations, universities and the European Joint Research Centre. The following is an update from 3 partners.

Politecnico di Milano 

Within the WP1, the compilation of existing databases on barriers across Europe is progressing. At this stage we have collected some data from France, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium and Spain. An almost complete picture of existing data will be available by the end of May 2017. At the same time we are developing a validation strategy to validate existing databases based on field work. This will be described in detail in the Deliverable 1.2 due next June.'
Read more about Politecnico

Inland Fisheries Ireland 

Inland Fisheries Ireland is compiling information on barriers in rivers, in particular their location and type, which will feed into the Atlas of European Barriers, a key objective of the AMBER project. Inland Fisheries Ireland has successfully mapped the Nore catchment during 2008 and has continued to build towards compiling a national picture of barriers as a GIS (Geographic Information System) layer. In 2016, the Bonet – Lough Gill catchment was surveyed and staff are currently working through the Barrow catchment.
Read more about Inland Fisheries Ireland

University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is involved in the ongoing management of work package 3 tasks. In the upcoming months and years task leaders such as the University of Durham and Ingenieurbüro Kauppert, as well as members from the International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research (ICER) at the University of Southampton , will be undertaking work to: (1) Develop a barrier planning (removal and installation) decision support tool, (2) Improve understanding of poor performance of barrier mitigation, and (3) Investigating the socio-economic drivers and impediments for successful reconnecting of European rivers. 

Member of ICER are currently working on gathering existing passage data for a range of aquatic organisms to validate existing ‘rapid barrier assessment protocols’. Various site visits will be planned later in the year to undertake and compare the results of each protocol at key barriers. The results of this analysis will help in the formation of a ‘European standard’ that can be used to assess the passability of riverine infrastructure to aquatic organisms and help guide mitigation efforts. 

Read more

Upcoming events

River Basin Adaptation Conference
Slovenia, March 7-8.
International Workshop
For PhD Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows on Salmonid Research. United Kingdom, March 7-10.
From Headwater to Headland
Improving smolt survival in rivers and estuaries. United Kingdom, March 14-15.
View all events
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