Loading ...


Restoring connectivity in Po River basin

About the case study

A project to restore connectivity in Po river basin opening a migratory route aimed at improving the conservation status of five threatened fish species, sturgeon cobia and four species of carp.

At the beginning of the 1960s the construction of the Isola Serafini dam, interrupted the movement of the fish species, especially migratory ones, contributing to their decline. This complex issue has finally been addressed by a project that has restored connectivity in Po River basin by opening a migratory route for the Adriatic sturgeon and other fish species.

Co-financed by the European Union’s Life tool, the project was completed 30 June 2018. The LIFE Program was set up by the EU in 1992 as a financial instrument to support projects in member states aimed at nature and biodiversity conservation.

A very complex fish ladder was implemented, integrating an innovative underwater monitoring cabin for detection of protected fish species. Furthermore the fish ladder has been equipped with an experimental capture system for invasive alien fish species.

The Project has pursued three objectives aimed at the conservation of the Po River corridor:

  • Restoration of the ecological connection of the Po River through the construction of a fish passage at Isola Serafini. This passage allowed us to reconnect the Adriatic to lakes Maggiore and Lugano.
  • Development of a program aimed at improving the conservation status of five threatened and receding fish species.
  • Promotion of coordinated management activities on the Po River basin, with particular regard to fish species and the Natura 2000.

These objectives have been linked with the exchange of good practices and the involvement of national and international stakeholders, to spread project accomplishments and to create knowledge on the importance of conservation of fish species and river defragmentation.

Drag View Close play