Lack of rain threatens the fish03.09.2018 Local News
Everything from nature itself, animals and people suffered from the prolonged drought and high temperatures. There was a danger that smaller streams would dry up completely resulting in the fish dying. Members of the Saanenland fishing club had to resort to extreme measures in an attempt to save the fish. Among a number of things, brown trout were removed from the upper part of the Meieslgrund brook. “If possible, the trout will again be exposed in the same waters. If this drought leads to less water along the entire length of the water bed, they will be relocated to the River Saane” says club president Beat Kunz.
It is not only the low water levels that are putting the fish and all other small organisms that live in the water in danger. The warm water temperature may also have an effect. “From 25C it will be critical” explains Kunz.
The emergency evacuations were confirmed with the Cantonal Fisheries Inspector. The electric-powered knock-out requires special equipment and training. The Saanenland fishing club has around eleven members with the appropriate training and equipment. “We also help with bottlenecks in the communities in the Upper Simmental” emphasizes Kunz.
A little more rain had fallen in the Saanenland over the past few weeks than in other areas of Switzerland, although it was still not enough to fix the problem. “The fish need at least one week of rainfall and, above all, cooler temperatures” says Beat Kunz.
Although water is still too scarce to relieve the fish, at least the fire ban could be lifted. The authorities still advise caution with open fires, though, in particular near forests.
Sophie Rieder / AvS