The Zirikolatzeko Erreka is a left bank tributary of Uhabia River, a small coastal river. There is no other dam downstream, and the first obstacle encountered by the fish upstream is located more than 3 km (culvert partially passable). Upstream hosts populations of brown trout, sea lamprey and eel.
Due to the proximity of the ocean, this small river presents challenges for migratory fish. The highest stakes are here for the eel (Anguilla anguilla), the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and brown trout (salmo trutta).
Many pressures have increased on aquatic ecosystems in recent years in our region. River barriers are one of them. Many projects have been carried out on main rivers in recent years, but not on small tributaries like the Zirikolatzeko Erreka River.
In the context of climate change, circulation of fish (and of all aquatic organisms in general) is becoming an increasing issue. For these reasons, our association has been in dialogue with the owner of the barrier. He no longer used this fording, and he is in favour of removing it.
|River||Zirikolatzeko Erreka River|
|Km to be opened||3|
|Key habitats||Spawning habitat for sea lamprey and brown trout|
|Focal species||Brown trout, sea lamprey and european eel|
The project removed the ford and returned the river to its natural bed, opening up 3 km of river, and reconnecting the Zirikolatzeko Erreka river to the main river, the Uhabia River. Sea lamprey and trout spawners will be able to access the upstream spawning grounds, and eels will also be able to colonise new territories. In summary, this project will restore the ecological functions of the Zirikolatzeko Erreka River.
Federation de Peche 64