Seluné river

Barrage de Verzins

Location: Les Bios, France.

Today this great bike migration had to stop. I had to because of this 35m high barrier called the Vezins Dam. Not because I am a fish and could not swim any further, but because of the sheer magnitude of this hydropower dam. 

This dam will be removed next spring to restore river connectivity and it will be the biggest dam removal project in Europe until nowadays. When I rode to the dam, I was very dissapointed to read different posters with wrong information about what will happen when the dam is removed, like “Without barriers, destructive flooding will return”. 

However, behind the posters I only saw people working very hard to recover the river and its biodiversity. In the near future, I will talk with different experts about this case and share my findings on the Dam Removal Europe site. When I rode to the dam, I was very surprised to read different posters with wrong information about what will happen when the dam is removed, like “Without barriers, destructive flooding will return”. 

However, behind the posters I only saw people working very hard to recover the river and its biodiversity. In the near future, I will talk with different experts about this case and share my findings on the Dam Removal Europe site.

“The Research Coordination Team (Fraisse Stéphane, Baglinière Jean-Luc and Roussel Jean-Marc) based on the INRA-Agrocampus-Ouest Ecology and Ecosystems Health (Rennes, France) informed us this week that the Selune River is on its way to return to a free-flowing river through the removal of two big barriers, the Vezins (32 m) and La Roche qui boit (16m) dams. The technical operations to block the contaminated sediment by heavy metals has been achieved in May of 2018, and now the drawdown of Vezins is in progress to be achieved next September. The removal of the biggest dam will occur in 2020 and the smallest in 2021. The pre-removal phase of the scientific program, monitoring the river ecological restoration, is finishing and allowed to characterize the watercourse’s current state. Furthermore, an official agreement has been signed this past May between financial partners, the French Government and INRA (in charge of this scientific program) to continue the monitoring at least until 2027.” – Dam Removal Europe