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.

Dredging near

27 September 2016

One of the sub-projects of the EU-LIFE Danube Network project is the restoration of gravel banks and islands as habitats along the Danube. Below the Ybbs-Persenbeug power plant, the VERBUND fleet is currently working on a fish nursery. This is because the fish larvae are only a few centimetres in size and need calm, shallow zones to grow up. There were not enough of these on the hard-built Danube. LIFE Danube Network is now closing the gaps.

In operation is the most modern device currently floating on the Danube. The "Röthelstein" is more of a floating power station: the diesel-electric drive concept generates electricity for two powerful Azipod drives with a total drive power of 1500 hp. The "Röthelstein" can actually break ice up to one meter thick. However, as there is little need for it in summer, it serves as the most powerful push boat in the VERBUND fleet. 

The dredging vessel Walter is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics. As dredger operator Dietmar Naderer explains to the astonished ORF camera team, he dredges using GPS coordinates that are imported via USB stick. Because nothing is left to gut feeling and certainly not to chance when it comes to where the gravel bankers place their gravel. 

Captain Dietmar Moissi has to move 400 tons of dead weight plus 500 tons with centimetre precision. What is difficult to drive is also difficult to brake. With the enormous amount of 200 m³ of gravel in the hopper barge, there is no need to rush anyway. It would take 20 trucks to move this amount. Dietmar Moissi and his colleagues manage 6 times more on a good day.

The dredging between Melk and Ybbs has begun. Dredgers stand on large ships and do their work.

Jürgen Eberstaller is effectively the chairman of the supervisory board of the gravel bankers. His task is the ecological construction supervision. Over the next few years, more than 200,000 m³ of gravel will be dredged between Ybbs and Melk (in compliance with the fish protection period). 

If you ask him about the benefits of the project, he goes into raptures and never stops mentioning the fish and birds that will enjoy the new shallow water shore zones. So if you would like to observe a little ringed plover breeding in the coming years, venture close to the Ybbser Scheibe. But please be careful not to destroy the well-camouflaged eggs or disturb the bird parents! Because what is good for fish and birds is also good for the quality of human life.