Riezu, Spain, Sep 14 (EFE).- The region of Navarre in northern Spain has successfully tested a removable dam to stop the advance of European perch, a predatory fish species that is endangering the local trout, in the Ubagua river.
“We are testing it and it is effective,” José Ardaiz Ganuza, head of the fluvial environment section of the rural development and environment department in Navarre, told Efe.
It is the first time the model has been used to prevent an Invasive Alien Species (IAS) — an animal or plant that has been accidentally or deliberately introduced into an ecosystem where they are not naturally found — from spreading, he added.
The perch was deliberately introduced in the Alloz reservoir and is endangering the local trout, a unique species that has been living in the Ubagua river for generations.
“If we lose them there is no going back,” Ganuza warned.
Patented by the Norwegian company Haawal, the removable dam was originally designed for different uses such as flood control.
“We thought that we could also use it in rivers of a certain size as a temporary barrier,” said Ganuza.
The dam, which will be removed in the fall to allow for the migration of the native species, has successfully stopped perch from moving into the river as they do not have the capacity to jump the barrier.
“We think the dam is working well so we are testing to see in what period we can place it and then remove it to avoid affecting other river species whose migration would be hindered by the it,” Ganuza said. EFE