Salmon fry accidentally killed off in Andakílsá River

Andakílsá dam was built in was built in 1945-47.

Andakílsá dam was built in was built in 1945-47. Photo: Guðrún Guðmundsdóttir

Andakílsá Fishing Association and Reykjavik Fishing Association own the fishing rights Andalílsá River. Together they have come to the decision that fishing will not be allowed in the river this summer.

The river is located in Borgafjörður, West Iceland. It's normally a decent river for catching salmon.

There is a dam in Andakílsá River. Every now and then a bit water is tapped off the lagoon the dam creates. This year staff from Orka náttúrunnar (daughter company of Reykjavik Energy which owns the dam) decided to empty the lagoon completely to examine the condition of the dam, which was built in 1945-47.

The water that poured down the river is thought to have carried with it 15-18 thousand tons of sediment. That filled up much of the river’s pools where salmon resides and spawns.

Research done by Iceland Marine Institute reveals that most of the fry in the river is dead, a direct result of these actions. The fishing associations say that even though there’s some salmon in the river, they won’t allow fishing as they don’t know if it has anything to eat, or how long the river will take to get back to its former state.

The National Energy Authorisation has come to the conclusion that emptying the lagoon was illegal. Orka náttúrunnar will be forced to clean up the river as much as possible, at their own cost.

Research done by Iceland Marine Institute reveals that most of ...

Research done by Iceland Marine Institute reveals that most of the spawn in the river is dead, a direct result of these actions. Photo: Dagný Sigurðardóttir

National Energy Authorisation has come to the conclusion that emptying ...

National Energy Authorisation has come to the conclusion that emptying the lagoon was illegal. Photo: Dagný Sigurðardóttir

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