‘Dead animals causing proliferation of aquatic plants in De Gender’

Cadavers due to proliferating aquatic plants in the Gender
Photo credit: Studio040 | Pleun Wolters

Residents in the Hanevoet district want aquatic harvesting to be carried out on the river, De Gender. There are such large amounts of water plants floating in the water that the surface of the water looks like a lawn with animal remains amongst it.

Willem Adriaans is a great lover of water and is concerned with the state of De Gender, a river which flows behind his garden in the Hanevoet district. In recent weeks it has become less and less pleasant to sit on the water bank. The surface of the water looks more like a swampy lawn than a river. “I took a rowing boat and went with a friend of mine to shovel away the excess weed,” said Adriaans. “That’s when we saw how many animals are caught up in it.” His friend who helped with the job added: “we pulled out roaches, other fish, countless birds, and even a few baby magpies.”

Inland water policy

According to De Dommel Water Board, it has been policy for years to avoid aquatic harvesting as little as possible. Aquatic weed harvesters, also known as weed cutting boats, are aquatic machines designed especially for inland water management in order to maintain aquatic plant life. Area manager Aaron Huvenaars said: “We have to find a balance between letting nature take its course but still maintain the flow rate capacity. That is why there is little harvesting carried out. Incidentally, I do not believe that birds and fish die because they get entangled in the water plants. In any case, we have not received any official reports of this.”

Aquatic harvesting schedule

According to Huvenaars, the fact that residents themselves are removing water plants does not help. “There’s no way to do that. Anything removed with your hands is only a fraction of what such a boat does”. According to the area manager, a harvesting plan has indeed been made for the whole year. And although one of the weed harvester boats from the Water Board works is currently broken, they remain right on schedule. “I expect that the Hanevoet district will also be harvested today or tomorrow.”

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Ayşenur Kuran

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