The Plitvice Lakes are the first in Croatia to remove barriers from watercourses

Bijela Rijeka, normally the habitat of autochthonous trout, will be free again.


9. May 2024.

Barriers significantly impair the ecological condition of a watercourse and should be removed. This is especially desirable in protected areas, i.e. national parks, which should work to protect and preserve their natural ecosystems.

Restore freshwater ecosystems and natural functions of rivers and ensure free flow again at least 25 km of rivers by 000 it is also a goal of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. To date, not a single artificial barrier has been removed from a watercourse in the Republic of Croatia, and the first barriers in Croatia were removed in the Plitivka Lakes National Park.

Despite the long-term protection of the area, we also have the problem of artificial barriers on watercourses in our national park. On the Bijela Rijeka, our 4,5 km long stream that supplies water to the lake system, in the past 250 years people have built canals, barriers and reservoirs to use the power of the water for the operation of sawmills, mills and hydropower plants.

These facilities have not been in operation for almost 100 years, and their remains still have a negative impact on the ecosystem of the Bijela Rijeka. The negative impact of these barriers on the migration of our native species, the Danube trout, for which the Bijela river is a favorable habitat for spawning, is particularly significant.

"In order to remove these negative influences and ensure the Danube trout a free path to spawning, in the last five years we have continuously worked on collecting data from the literature and in the field, monitoring the situation and carrying out professional and scientific measurements and research as a basis for removing artificial barriers and restoring the ecosystem Bijele Rijeka. With the support of WWF Adria and the Open Rivers Program, the preparation of studies for the removal of barriers and the selected contractors for the removal works and the implementation of monitoring of biological indicators after removal were financed. in the Public Institution Plitivka Jezera National Park, adding that out of the eight locations where the remains of the barriers were recorded, restoration work was carried out last fall in four of the old parts of the course of the Bijela River, which due to their natural bed morphology are ideal for trout migrations.

PHOTO: Plitvice Lakes National Park
Photo: Public institution Plitivka Jezera National Park / source: Facebook

At these locations, the artificial barriers themselves were not removed, because habitat types and target Natura 2000 species have developed on them or in their immediate vicinity over the years, which we also have to preserve, and removing the barriers would significantly and probably disastrously change their habitat conditions. The remaining four locations require removal construction works, which will be carried out with hydrotechnical supervision and monitoring of hydrological, physical-chemical and biological conditions in the watercourse.

"Now finally, after numerous obstacles that we ourselves encountered in this multi-year process, we are proud to announce that in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, on the small but very important stream Bijela Rijeka, these days the first four artificial barriers in the Republic will be removed Croatia. We wish our herds a happy journey along the old courses, and for the Bijela River to become free again." they say from the National Park.

Three new charging stations for electric vehicles

Starting this spring, you have the opportunity to charge your batteries with electric vehicles at three locations in the Plitvice Lakes National Park: At Entrance 1 to the Park, in front of the Jezero Hotel and in front of the Borje restaurant, there are a total of 13 charging stations with 14 charging stations for electric cars, of which 12 are AC Wallbox charging stations with a power of up to 22 kW and one AC/DC charging station with a power of up to 50 kW.  

It is the result of cooperation between Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP) and Plitvice Lakes National Park in order to support the development of electromobility and sustainable development of the region. In 2014, HEP, through its eMobility development project, started to develop a chain of charging stations for electric vehicles - ELEN, which are publicly available, i.e., in the area of ​​the Plitvice Lakes National Park they can be used by locals, visitors, hotel guests, as well as all other drivers who need electric filling station.

Photo: Public institution Plitvice Lakes National Park
Photo: Public institution Plitvice Lakes National Park / source: Facebook

This initiative is fully in line with Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, which supports sustainable transport and the establishment of an uninterrupted network of infrastructure for alternative fuels in the European Union.

"The construction of an infrastructure for charging electric vehicles in the area of ​​the Plitvice Lakes National Park is a logical sequence of the development of sustainable practices that reduce the negative impact of traffic on this protected natural heritage." they announced from the Plitivka Jezera National Park.



9. May 2024.