Salmon returning to river Elbe
Fisherman Ladislav Mervinsky was dumbstruck when he caught a salmon - over a metre in length - in the river Elbe (Labe) close to the Czech-German border in north Bohemia. This is the first time since 1954 that a salmon was caught in the Elbe. Not too long ago, the river was considered one of the dirtiest rivers in Europe. So what's brought the fresh-water fish, known to live in only the cleanest of waters, back to the Elbe? Dita Asiedu reports:
"It is a clear sign that the water in the Elbe is significantly cleaner. Since its establishment, the International Commission for the Protection of the Elbe, which is devoted to improving the river's quality, has rid the river of some 95% of organic contamination and removed heavy metals such as copper and zinc. But we, together with our German colleagues, have yet to rid the waters of specific chemical materials and introduce protective measures against disaster leakages, such as those we battled last year and this year."
So, thanks to the authority's cleaning measures, the salmon can survive in the river Elbe. But credit for the salmon's presence should be given to Czech fishermen. Some five years ago, the Association of Fishermen planted salmon fingerlings - salmon less than a year old - into the Kamenice River from where the fish travelled into the Elbe.
And for those of you wondering what happened to the 108 centimetre long salmon caught by fisherman Mervinsky - it was released back into the river.