Sankt Augustin · For the first time in several decades, an adult allis shad has been sighted in the river Sieg. The animals have been considered extinct in the Rhine system for 60 years.
For the first time in several decades, an adult allis shad has been sighted in the river Sieg. An automatic fish counter at one of the control stations near Sankt Augustin (Rhine-Sieg district) made the "sensational recording", the Foundation for Water Protection and Migratory Fish NRW announced on Tuesday. Allis shad have been considered extinct in the Rhine system for a good 60 years, but have been reintroduced in recent years.
The sighting shows that the fish's population in the Rhine is growing steadily, said Andreas Scharbert, head of the reintroduction project at the Rhineland Fisheries Association. For years, tiny allis shad larvae bred in France have been released into the Sieg and other Rhine tributaries. They migrate to the seas and return to their "home waters" - like the specimen now sighted - after a few years, sexually mature and up to 70 centimetres in size. Other Rhine riparian states and federal states are involved in the project.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of allis shad were still swimming up the Rhine and its tributaries to reproduce, according to the Foundation. At that time, they were also offered on menus in inns. However, due to overfishing, water pollution and the expansion of the Rhine and its tributaries, they disappeared by the middle of the last century, in the Sieg even earlier, according to Scharbert.
Original text: dpa
Translation: Mareike Graepel