Fish and Freshwater Ecology
Our local lakes, rivers and streams are used intensively in many ways: hydropower plants, navigation, agricultural irrigation and drainage as well as land use, water abstraction and wastewater discharge, bathing and water sports, and also fishing. These uses can pollute the water bodies and often have consequences for habitats, flora, fauna, and thus also for fish.
Nature is also in a constant state of change. Consequently, new questions are constantly arising with a need for answers: how does climate change affect water bodies? What are the ecological consequences of the spread of invasive species, such as the Ponto-Caspian goby? What are the consequences of the strong increase in protected species, such as the cormorant or the beaver? What are the consequences of the extinction of insects, which are also the basis of fish nutrition? How must fish migration aids and fish protection facilities be designed in order for suitable watercourses to be safely colonised again by typical fish species?
The department of Fish and Freshwater Ecology therefore deals with the demands of fish on their habitats, their behaviour, their development and their interactions with the environment. The aim of our work is to protect and promote natural waters and their fish communities - also as a foundation for sustainable use by fishermen and anglers.
Key areas of our current and future activities include:
- the reintroduction or promotion of threatened or already lost species (salmon, sea trout, grayling, brown mussel, minnow and bullhead),
- the regular determination of the distribution of fish species in Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt in the form of so-called cadastres,
- the assessment of fish stocks, fish species and water bodies according to the Water Framework Directive and the Flora-Fauna-Habitat Directive, as well as sampling for the Pollutant Monitoring of the state of Brandenburg,
- consultancy on fish biology and monitoring of the compliance of hydraulic engineering measures (e.g. fish migration aids and improvements to watercourse structure),
- the investigation of ecological effects of beaver settlements in lowland watercourses,
- the investigation and reduction of ecological effects of mechanical watercourse maintenance measures,
- and the climate-adapted near-natural development of our freshwater bodies and fish stocks.