A bright blue sky is reflected in the water, which is part of the fish migration aid near Abwinden-Asten.

Chronology of the project
LIFE+ Netzwerk Donau

This is where we report on project activities relating to the LIFE Network Danube project: the focus is on habitat and accessibility, fish migration aids and renaturation along our Danube power plants.

Fish monitoring Abwinden-Asten

From mid-March 2021 to the end of October 2021, the newly constructed fish migration aid was examined by blattfisch e.U. using fish trap monitoring. Despite the cold spring, the ecologists were able to mark more than 3,000 fish with chips (PIT tags) in the Abwinden-Asten fish migration aid. In the process, 41 fish species were detected. Thanks to the chips, the migration behavior of the tagged fish along the Danube can be tracked with antennas. Fish monitoring in Abwinden-Asten will continue from April 2022 to June 2022.

Some young people are monitoring fish on the banks of the river. The setting is autumnal.

May 2020

First flooding of the Abwinden-Asten fish migration aid

In compliance with all safety and precautionary measures, the fish migration aid at the Abwinden-Asten Danube power plant was put into operation on Monday, May 11, 2020. The fish migration aid was already completed in winter 2020, but flooding was postponed to May due to corona restrictions. Fish monitoring is due to start on May 12. The antennas and fish trap for counting fish have already been installed.

Flooding of the Abwinden-Asten fish migration aid on April 14, 2020. The picture shows how the water makes its way through the gravel bed.

November 2019

Autumn fishing in Greifenstein

More than a year has passed since the Greifenstein fish migration aid was opened. In 14 months, the ecologists have been able to "tag" 10,000 fish using implanted chips.  46 of 52 Danube fish species have been identified so far. The large number of young specimens of the flagship fish, the "nose" (Chondrostoma nasus), is particularly pleasing. The discovery of rare species, including the endangered pearlfish (Rutilus meidingeri), was surprising. The ecological success proves the effect of the 4.4-kilometre-long accompanying stream.

Fish monitoring at the Greifenstein fish migration aid is showing initial success. A fish typical of the Danube is held up to the camera.

Augut 2019

Construction progress in summer 2019

The five-kilometre-long construction site at the Abwinden-Asten Danube power plant is making rapid progress. Intensive work is currently underway on the new channel. Excavators, giant trucks, concrete mixers and many other heavy-duty vehicles that make every (child's) heart beat faster are in use along the entire length. The corrugated metal culverts have already been installed, which will later become bridges. The concrete construction for the inlet structure is also ready and the steel components have been installed.

An excavator prepares the Abwinden-Asten fish migration aid in bright sunshine.

Further progress is visible

How is the success of the Danube Network project measured? Quite simply, experts are investigating the extent to which the fish migration aids are accepted. Read more.

In summer 2017, numerous interested people visited the Greifenstein fish migration aid. They gathered directly in front of the drop height.

The Netzwerk Donau project has set itself more than one task: Not only renaturalizing the danube and it's nature but also connecting existing habitats.

Some young people are working at the Greifenstein fish migration aid to carry out fish monitoring.

Fish monitoring over the past few years has shown that the fish at the Ottensheim-Wilhering hydropower plant are accepting the bypass channel well.

The fish migration aid at the Ottensheim-Wilhering power station sits enthroned against a gloriously blue sky.

After the construction of the longest fish migration aid in Europe at the Ottensheim-Wilhering power plant, experts are measuring how well it is being accepted.

April 2019

Ground-breaking ceremony for the Abwinden-Asten fish migration aid

Together with its partners, VERBUND is equipping the Abwinden-Asten power plant with a new fish migration aid. In future, fish and other creatures will find a new habitat and a way to pass the power plant over a distance of more than 5 kilometers. In total, around five hectares of new water habitat will be created. The total investment for this measure amounts to around EUR 6.5 million, which is being funded by VERBUND, the European Union, the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, the state of Upper Austria and the Upper Austrian State Fisheries Association. The work will last until spring 2020.

Ground-breaking ceremony for the Abwinden-Asten fish migration aid with Robert Fenz, Head of Department, Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism Provincial Councillor Elmar Podgorschek, Province of Upper Austria Achim Kaspar, Member of the Executive Board of VERBUND AG.

First progress at the Abwinden-Asten construction site

There is a lot going on at Abwinden-Asten at the moment. The fish migration aid will be flooded for the first time in just a few months.

January 2019

Construction preparations in Abwinden-Asten

VERBUND is starting preparations for the construction of the fish migration aid at the Abwinden-Asten Danube power plant in 2019. The first clearing measures in the riparian forest will begin in mid-January 2019. Earthworks for the bypass stream will also begin in winter. The fish migration aid will be completed in spring 2020.

An excavator is being used during the construction of the Abwinden-Asten fish migration aid near the river.

April 2018

Greifenstein fish migration aid opened!

On April 20, VERBUND and its project partners from the LIFE+ Network Danube project opened the new fish migration aid in Greifenstein. A near-natural stream enables fish to overcome the 14.5 meter height difference of the Danube power plant. This requires a 4-kilometre-long channel, which was built embedded in the ecologically valuable areas in the Greifensteiner Au. 

The opening of the Greifenstein fish migration aid is celebrated: Mayor Maximilian Tietz (St.Andrä-Wördern), Karl Gravogl (Landesfischerverband NÖ), District Governor Waltraud Müllner-Toifl (Korneuburg), LH-Strv. Stephan Pernkopf (Province of Lower Austria), Managing Director Karl Heinz Gruber, VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH, Secretary General Josef Plank (BMNT), Mayor Helmut Laab (Stockerau), VD Günther Rabensteiner (VERBUND AG), Managing Director Michael Amerer (VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH).

January 2018

Greifenstein fish migration aid irrigated for the first time

Construction work on the Greifenstein fish migration aid has been completed. At the beginning of the year, the 4.4-kilometer-long channel was flooded for the first time. In the presence of representatives from the municipality of Stockerau, project manager David Oberlerchner and Heinz Allmer, head of the Lower Austrian Danube power plants, convinced themselves of the function of the doping structure. Trial fishing is scheduled to begin in March 2018.

The first flooding of the Greifenstein fish migration aid is celebrated: Heinz Allmer (Head of Danube Power Plants), Franz Els, Dietmar Pfeiler, David Oberlerchner (Project Manager Fish Migration Aid Greifenstein), Karl Kronberger.

And this is also what happened ... 

How is the location of a fish migration aid determined? And what is needed to connect different Danube habitats? Find out more with our news.  

The picture shows the Danubeday in the Museumsquartier. Numerous young people are out and about at various stands, gathering information about the Danube habitat.

Danubeday was founded by the International Commission. Since June 29, 2004, we have been celebrating the Danube Protection Agreement with young and old.

Two fish, noses to be precise, were recorded with an underwater camera.

Ultrasound measurements are used to develop the fish migration aid in Greifenstein: this is how the preferred locations of fish are identified.

Dredging work was carried out directly on the Danube near Ybbs as part of the renaturation project. A dredger was traveling on a ship on the Danube.

One of the component projects of the Netzwerk Donau project is the restoration of gravel banks and gravel islands as habitats along the Danube.

October 2016

Experts from Croatia visit us

As part of an exchange of experience between LIFE+ projects, we were delighted to welcome a high-ranking expert visit from Croatia in October: colleagues from the LIFE+ Drava project gathered impressions and knowledge from 20 years of experience with renaturation projects on the Danube. They visited the fish migration aid in Ottensheim and the LIFE+ Traisen project near Altenw├Ârth.

Colleagues from the LIFE+ Drava project showed great interest in the activities on the Danube (Photo: G.Safarek)

May 2016

Ottensheim fish migration aid opened!

VERBUND, Austria's leading hydropower company, is continuing the greening of its hydropower plants and today opened Europe's longest fish migration aid together with its project partners. After a construction period of just over a year, fish can now migrate through a bypass around the Ottensheim-Wilhering power plant that is more than 14 km long.

Opening of the Ottensheim fish migration aid with project manager David Oberlerchner, Member of Parliament Josef Rathgeb, Gerald Zauner (ETB Zauner), Member of Parliament Ulrike Böker, Karl Heinz Gruber (VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH) Michael Amerer, (VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH).

Ottensheim fish migration aid: first insights

April 2016

Groundbreaking ceremony for Greifenstein

Symbolic start to the construction of a new fish migration aid at the Greifenstein power plant. In glorious weather and with the active support of Provincial Councillor Stephan Pernkopf, the Lower Austrian Provincial Fisheries Association and the Ministry for a Livable Austria, VERBUND today launched the construction of its latest ecological facility on the Danube. By the end of next year, a near-natural bypass stream will be created near Greifenstein, which will allow fish to swim around the power plant.

Groundbreaking ceremony at Greifenstein: Karl Heinz Gruber (VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH), Günther Rabensteiner (VERBUND AG), Provincial Councillor Stephan Pernkopf (Lower Austria), Michael Amerer (VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH) and project manager David Oberlerchner launch the project on site.

Dezember 2015

Ottensheim fish migration aid on the home straight

The Ottensheim fish migration aid could be completed earlier than planned. The construction work is going so well that project manager David Oberlerchner is optimistic that the project will be completed in early summer 2016.

9 excavators are currently working continuously between Ottensheim and Aschach to quickly complete the longest fish migration aid in Europe to date. The Aschach and the Innbach, a tributary of the Danube, are being restructured over 14.2 kilometers and equipped with two intake structures. In future, fish will be able to swim around the dam wall of the Ottensheim-Wilhering power plant. At the same time, valuable habitats will be created.

"We regret that the construction work is causing obstructions and ask for your understanding," says project manager David Oberlerchner. The Danube cycle path currently has to be rerouted via the Eferdinger-Landl-Weg R18. The good news is that the construction work is progressing faster than planned. "However, we are well on track to be finished by early summer next year," says David Oberlerchner.

In addition to the work in the river, the intake structures are currently being built at both ends of the fish migration aid. Most of the excavated material will remain on the construction site, which will keep transport costs and therefore truck traffic outside the project area to a minimum.

Lush greenery covers the banks of the Augewasser near the Ottensheim-Wilhering power station.


The international Danubeday is intended to raise awareness of the important resource of water and the nature of water bodies. This special day was initiated by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube and was celebrated for the first time in 2004.