Winfried Klein and the activities of the IG-Lahn - Presentation at the board meeting in September 2016

Salmon, Hydropower and Netting – Winfried Klein and the activities of the IG Lahn

The reintroduction of Atlantic Salmon to River Lahn started with an initial stocking in 1993 using a strain from river Ardour (France). Starting from year 2000 the Allier strain was used and  the Swedish Ätran strain starting from 2004.

Already in 1997 the first returning fish where detected at the mouth of River Lahn to the Rhine. According to Winfried Klein in 2006/2007 a significant decline in numbers of returning fish was found.

There is suspicion that the reason for this decline had something to do with changes in the fisheries legislation in the Netherlands (increased semiprofessional fishery leading to higher bycatch).

However stocking in this period was converted to smolt stocking (with adipose clipping (ac)) and in other areas of River Rhine (Rivers Sieg and Kinzig) no decline could be encountered at this time. It remains to be clarified why the numbers of returners are constantly lower than before since that time. Today stocking is done with parrs once more.

Until today 108 adult returning salmon have been found in River Lahn.

The  returners  caught were used for stripping in the hatchery of the organization.

IG Lahn judges the quality of fish passes the better the more their design resembles a natural stream. Very technical solutions are being regarded critical as they show limited functionality or don’t work at all in the Lahn river system.

Please find here the complete presentation of Winfried Klein.

Pease also find an overview of all presentations of the board meetings right here.

20.11.2016 Sturgeon caught in River Elbe - European Sturgeon or foreign species?

sturgeon caught in river elbe!

IMG 7774


On 2nd of August Stefan Kressack caught  a sturgeon in the Elbe while fishing with rod and line.

Since 2008 European Sturgeoan are being returned to the wild under the program for "Reintroduction of European Sturgeon to the Elbe Riversystem".   The activities are initiated and accompanied by the BfN (German Federal Ministry for Nature) and are part of the national plan of action for the conservation of the species European Sturgeon. Until today around 19.500 sturgeon with a length between 10 and 45 cm have been stocked in the Elbe and its tributaries Mulde, Havel, Stör and Oste.  Catches until now have been reported mainly from professional fisheries.

This actual catch in the Elbe poses questions: Is this the species "European Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio)" that is being stocked in the River Elbe by the "Gesellschaft zur Rettung des Störes" (Association for the Salvation of the Sturgeon)?  How can we tell different sturgeon species apart at all? Is it allowed to take a sturgeon home and eat it? Which sturgeon species are stocked in the Elbe? Where do the not native species come from?  

First of all the most important: at the time every caught sturgeon, whatever species it might belong to, must be released to the river, which was of course done in this case. It would be very important though to take good pictures of sturgeon caught, that could help identify the species later on.


Stoer Elbe Mark1

The sturgeon from the Elbe on this picture is hard to identify but most likely a sturgeon hybrid.

The situation of sturgeon in Germany:  There are 2 species of sturgeon, that are native to the tributaries of Baltic and North Sea. The "European Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio)" in the rivers Eider, Elbe, Weser, Ems and Rhine and the "Baltic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus)" in the River Oder. Apart from that there is historic evidence in the Danube riversystem of "Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus)", "Hausen (Huso huso)" and "Waxdick (Acipenser gueldenstedtii)". Please also see Historic Data on db.wanderfische.eu .

Both of the two species mentioned first are regarded as lost or extinct in Germany. "The Association for the Salvation of Sturgeon" is running reintroduction programs in the tributaries to the Baltic and the North Sea. For the "European Sturgeon" parental stocks are being built up in France and Germany based on a residual population in France and reintroduction projects  are stocking the progeny in the Rivers Gironde and Elbe in an experimental scale.

The "Außenstelle Born" of the "Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Fischerei" is keeping a parental stock of the "Baltic Sturgeon" and is producing progeny for stocking. These fish are stocked by the "Association for the Salvation of Sturgeon" solely in the Oder riversystem.

For the operators of the project of course it is important to get to know more about the distribution and growth of the stocked animals in their natural habitat by accidential catches. Therefore they have been calling on for years to register catches of sturgeon in the rivers and coastal areas of Northern Germany and report them to the association (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

How can you tell apart native and foreign sturgeon species?

All sturgeon have in common:

  1. Five rows of scutes (bony plates) along the body

  2. Four barbels preceeding the mouth opening

  3. Evertable mouth on the bottom side of the head

  4. Typical shape of the body with a backshifted dorsal fin and the long elongated tail lobe.

The species can be differentiated by: 

  1. the position of the barbels with reference to the snout tip and the mouth (position in the middle between mouth and snout tip).

  2. Small scutes between the rows of scutes are rhombic (not star shaped, no additional rows of medium sized scutes).

  3. Appearance of scutes along the anal fin

  4. Steep dorsal fin, approximately as long as high.

Stoer Elbe mark


The important areas for the identification of the sturgeon species are marked with red circles on the pictures above. Good photos of these areas would be of major importance.

You will find examples for such pictures of the "European Sturgeon" on  http://wanderfische.de/Fischarten/Stoere/Acipenser_sturio.htm

If you are interested in further and more details for the identification of sturgeon of the two above mentioned species please see the information following on this page (source: CITES).

You can also find information on: http://www.wanderfische.de/Fischarten/Stoere/stoerschluessel.htm .


Step one for the identification of German native sturgeon species (only this path followed):


If the fist criteria apply the identification carries on with number 2 (in purple).


If the shape of the snout looks like described under 2 (purple) carry on with 3 (green)


The Hausen (Huso ssp.) species evert their mouth diagonally to the front, Acipenser evert their mouth downwards. The mouth of Hausen is as wide as the head. 

Sturgeon of Acipenser ssp., that are similar to the German species, have a special bodyshape, which could be hardly identifiable when fish are poorly nourished.



ONLY Baltic and European Sturgeon have scutes around the anal fin. 




13.10.2016 A lot of new Historic Data added to the Wanderfische DATABASE

evidence OF migratory Fish CAUGHT at the end of 19TH CENTURY NOW AVAILABLE!

Rolf Irmen, passionate angler and conservationist, kindly provided the reports of the "Rheinischer Fischereiverein" (Fishing association of the Rhinelands) in the period of 1889 until 1905.  


11.10.2016 The Saxonian Elbe Salmon Project has created a great and very informative video 

The "Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie/Referat Fischerei" (Saxonian State Agency for Environment, Agriculture and Geology/Fishery Department) has created a short video (approx. 12 min.) about the Saxonian Salmon Project. It is now publically available. Please use this link to watch it:  




Referat 76 | Fischereibehörde





Meeting of the Advisory Board focussing on „Fisch marking and telemetry“ with Finn Økland

Second meeting of the Advisory board of "wanderfische ohne grenzen" has taken place!

On 13th and 14th of September 2016 the Advisory Board of the association met in Siegburg on River Sieg.

Hubert Linden, chairman of  „Fischschutzverein Siegburg 1910 e.V.“,  gave a very warm personal welcome to the participants of the convention to the club house of his association. The club house is located in direct vicinity of the control station "Buisdorf" with the highest number of returning salmon in Germany since 1990.  

Main subject of the meeting was "Fish marking and telemetry".

Norwegian fish scientist Finn Økland of the independent NINA Institute (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) shared his excellent knowledge and his wide scope of experience of around 200 realized projects.

The experts from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands who attended the meeting presented the latest numbers of their Migratory Fishes Projects and their activities in fish marking and telemetry.

The meeting was characterized by the intensive and high-quality exchange of experience between the projects and with Finn Økland.

Together with the Migratory Fishes Projects of the different regions "Wanderfische ohne Grenzen - NASF Germany" will continue to develop the transfer of information in the field of fish marking and telemetry across the entire habitat of the migratory species.

The foundation for such a network has been laid by the participants of this meeting and last years meeting of the Advisory Board.

Armin Nemitz, fish biologist of the "Rheinischer Fischereiverband" completed the program of the convention with a guided tour to the "Wildlachszentrum" at the lake "Wahnbachtalsperre" and the "Wissenshaus Wanderfische" in Siegburg, a public information center for migratory fish species that will be opened soon.

Many thanks to Armin Nemitz for letting us have a detailed look into his excellent work and for his great hospitality.

Interesting reports on single subjects of the convention will follow soon.



Finn Økland                    Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)

Armin Nemitz                 Rheinischer Fischereiverband / Wanderfischprogramm NRW

Martin Purps                   Landessportfischerverband Schleswig-Holstein

Jan Reubens                   Ghent University / Belgium

Pieterjan Verhelst           Ghent University / Belgium

Carsten Nolting              LFV Westfalen und Lippe e.V

Dr. Christoph Petereit    Geomar Kiel

Stefan Jäger                   Ruhrfischereigenossenschaft

Winfried Klein                IG Lahn e.V. / Verband Hessischer Fischer e.V.

Ulrich Thiel                    Landesanglerverband Brandenburg

Reinhart Sosat               Landesfischereiverband Baden Württemberg / Wanderfische BW gGmbH

André de Breukelaar     Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment / Netherlands

Dr. Maxim Teichert        Universität Köln

Dr. Jens Salva                 LFV Weser-EMS

Armin Weinbrenner       Wanderfische ohne Grenzen e.V.

Stefan Ludwig                Wanderfische ohne Grenzen e.V. / Aller Oker Lachsgemeinschaft




 Ilmenau Lachs 128cm

Up-to-date report from River Ilmenau  -  18.09.2016


giant Salmon found dead in river ilmenau (elbe river system)!

This Atlantic Salmon was washed up dead in the Ilmenau Channel (canalized lower part of the River Ilmenau) on 14th of August 2016.

Total length:  128 cm.

The exact weight couldn't be determined as the only scales available reached to maximum 13 kg, which wasn't enough.

From a certain body width on the fish had lost his scales completely (see photo), which might indicate that this fish had tried to pass the needle weirs in River Ilmenau.

From time to time some of the needles are pulled to control waterflow which enables strong fish to pass this point.


Ilmenau Lachs 128cm nah

In River Ilmenau every year 5000 young salmon are being stocked. The fish on the photo didn`t have an adipose fin anymore. The only place in the Elbe river system where clipping of the adipose fin is used for marking is on River Stepenitz/Brandenburg. It is therefore very likely that this fish has reached the River Ilmenau as a strayer, but originates from stocking activities on the River Stepenitz.


Actual Report from River Weser - 04.08.2016

Catch of an Eel equipped with a transmitter in the lower Weser region

On 8.7.2016 an Eel equipped with a radio transmitter was caught in the so called "Strohauser Sieltief":

Length: 75 cm, 
Transmitter Number: 300 041
- 300 is the id for frequency 150.300 mHz, 041 tells the number of the transmitter

Location: Germany, Landkreis Cuxhaven, Strohauser Sieltief (Lower River Weser) 

Interested Anglers enquired where the transmitter might originate.

 Aktueller Bericht aus Dessau

Die Mulde – ein Lachsfluss soll wieder leben!

Das Stadtwehr an der Mulde in Dessau wird derzeit mit einer Fischwanderhilfe ausgestattet.

Ein Bauwerk mit Erfolgsaussichten ?

Die Mulde, ein Nebenfluss der Elbe, galt in historischer Zeit als eines der bedeutsamsten Laichgebiete für den Elblachs und bot ideale sowie großflächige Laichhabitate. Allein in Dessau am berühmten „Lachsfang“ wurden im Mittelalter jährlich bis zu 6.000 Lachse gefangen. Heute zeichnet sich die Oberlaufregion des Flusssystems nach dem Wegfall zahlreicher Belastungsquellen wieder durch gute Wasserqualität und über weite Strecken gut durchströmte steinig-kiesige Gewässergründe aus. Lachse und Meerforellen könnten sich dort sehr gut fortpflanzen, weshalb Sachsen im Rahmen seines Lachs-Programmes bereits auch seit einigen Jahren Besatzmaßnahmen durchführt. Durch das mündungsnahe Stadtwehr in Dessau wird ihnen allerdings seit vielen Jahren der Zugang zu den ehemaligen Laichhabitaten versperrt.

Wanderfische ohne Grenzen e.V.

World Fish Migration Day – event at the Patagonia Store, Munich

On World Fish Migration Day, 21st of May 2016, Patagonia invited all visitors to an event in their store in the center of Munich. Wanderfische ohne Grenzen – NASF Germany assisted in organizing the program and stood by with professional expertise on migratory fish species and river ecology.

World Fish Migration Day

World Fish Migration Day in Meinersen/Niedersachsen

Wanderfische ohne Grenzen – NASF Deutschland cohosted in close cooperation with the Aller-Oker-Lachs-Gemeinschaft (AOLG) its second event in Germany on that day.

Perfect weather and a good number of visitors were ideal conditions for a successful event.

Saturday,  May 21st 2016

World Fish Migration Day

The World Fish Migration Day is getting closer.

Please help giving a platform to all migratory fish species.

The association "Wanderfische ohne Grenzen - NASF Deutschland" will be present at two different locations in Germany:


1. in Meinersen (Lower Saxony)

Weltwanderfischtag in Meinersen


2. in Munich
World Fish Migration Day in Munich


A very nice video about World Fish Migration Day is available on YouTube:

Video about World Fish Migration Day

a must see !



Interview mit Christoph Kaiser zum Thema:

Wanderfische in der Küche

Wir haben mit einem Koch aus der Spitzengastronomie über Wanderfische in der Küche und alternativen zu möglichst billigen Zuchtlachsen gesprochen.

Lest hier unser Interview mit Christoph Kaiser:

Erlebniswelt Fliegenfischen (EWF) in Fürstenfeldbruck am 9./10.4.2016

"Wanderfische ohne Grenzen - NASF Deutschland" auf der EWF

Kommendes Wochenende am 9. und 10. April werden wir mit einem Stand auf der Messe "Erlebniswelt Fliegenfischen" in Fürstenfeldbruck vertreten sein. Wir freuen uns darauf, Sie zu sehen und mit Ihnen die Belange der Wanderfische zu erörtern.

Am Samstag, dem 9.4. werden wir um 11:45 einen Vortrag zum Thema "Wanderfische und Wasserkraft - Sind Fische die Verlierer der Energiewende?" halten. Der Vortrag findet im Vortragssaal S5 statt.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Besuch und interessante Gespräche!




Wanderfisch-Reihe Flussportraits:

Die Dreisam

In den kommenden Monaten wollen beispielhafte Flüsse und Projekte vorstellen, die es Wanderfischen ermöglichen, wieder in ihren natürlichen Lebensraum zurückzukehren.

Wir machen sichtbar, dass Naturschutz Tieren und Menschen gleichermaßen nützt. Intakte Gewässer sind im Interesse Aller!

Alta Wild Salmon Conference im Februar 2016:

Norwegische Wildlachs-Bestände stark gefährdet

Anfang Februar fand im Norden Norwegens die ALTA Wild Salmon Conference statt. Orri Vigfusson, der Vorsitzende des NASF worldwide, nahm an dem Treffen norwegischer Wissenschaftler teil und berichtet von alarmierenden Forschungsergebnissen.

Die wichtigsten Fakten im Überblick:

  1. Nur noch 22% der norwegischen Lachsflüsse verfügen über intakte Lachsbestände!
  2. Norwegen befischt Lachse im Altafjord immer noch mit tödlichen Krokgarn-Netzen! Diese Netze sind in anderen Ländern schon lange verboten.
  3. Norwegische Lachsfarmen verschlechtern den Genpool von Wildfischen! Wissenschaftler schätzen, dass jährlich über eine Million Zuchtlachse aus den Farmen entkommen. 65% der norwegischen Flüsse sind schon betroffen, 20% haben schon schwere Schäden erlitten.
  4. Lachsfarmen in Norwegen produzieren jährlich 1,2 Millionen Tonnen Fisch. Dies ist nur durch massiven Einsatz von Chemikalien und Antibiotika im Meer möglich. Fischläuse sind aber inzwischen gegen Bekämpfungsmittel resistent und breiten sich unkontrolliert in den Fjorden aus!
  5. Entgegen jeder ökologischen Vernunft plant Norwegen zwei Kupfer- und Titanminen in wichtigen Lachsfjorden. Die Abfälle der Minen sollen im Meer entsorgt werden. Der NASF unterstützt Proteste gegen die geplanten Projekte.

Weitere Informationen unter:

Alta wild salmon conference


und http://nu.no/



February 2016:

Report on the "Wild Salmon Conference" in Alta/Norway by Orri Vigfússon/NASF worldwide


About 300 people attended the ALTA Wild Salmon Conference hosted by the Alta river owners, Norwegian River Owners and others. Torfinn, Tor-Erlend, Vegard and Hans Kristian did a magnificent job putting together a very important and successful event. This was mostly a sad gathering of people appalled at the evidence of the fast disappearance of the wild salmon in Norway.