Greifenstein fish bypass has water flow for the first time


As part of the EU "LIFE+ Network Danube" project, the Greifenstein power plant on the Danube has been equipped with a new fish bypass. The construction work was completed already before the Christmas holidays. When the weir upstream from the power plant was opened today, water from the Danube flowed into the new bypass stream for the first time - making it possible for fish to circumvent the power plant.

A near-natural stream makes it possible for fish to overcome the 10 metre height difference associated with the power plant. This necessitated a 4.4 km long channel, which was embedded into the ecologically valuable land in the Greifenstein wetlands. A total of more than 400,000 m3 of gravel were moved in the wetlands near the Greifenstein power plant.

Due to the minimal fish movements during the cold season, fish counts with the help of a weir will be started in March. Then experts will be able to assess the effectiveness of the fish bypass.

In Greifenstein, potholes (deeper spots) and specially anchored deadwood provide habitats for aquatic organisms and birds. Two compensation structures guarantee the necessary amount of water even in the event of low or high water levels.

Connectivity of ecological zones along the Danube

The accessibility for fish is just one of the goals of the "LIFE+ Network Danube" project. The main concern is linking existing ecologically healthy areas and renaturation projects. The Greifenstein fish bypass is located within the European nature reserve "Tullnerfelder Danube Wetlands", the largest continuous wetlands area in Austria.

Partners for a healthy Danube

The project is being supported by six financing partners: The EU as part of the LIFE+ programme, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Environment and Water Management, the state governments of Upper and Lower Austria, and the state Fisheries Associations of Upper and Lower Austria.

More about the LIFE+ Network Danube project


Florian Seidl Florian Seidl

Media Spokesperson for Generation

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