The goal of the “Salmon Comeback!” campaign is the return of the Atlantic salmon to the whole of the upper Rhine river basin.

Originally the Rhine was the longest European river habitat of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Even as recently as a hundred years ago, a million salmon a year found their way up the Rhine and its tributaries, well into all the Swiss Alps. Nowadays there are only a few hundred individuals left in the Rhine from Rotterdam to the Upper Rhine. Migration stops at this point due to several dams.

Salmon Comeback! is a coalition put together to ensure that all parties involved fulfil their commitments to create the necessary conditions for salmon to return back to their best spawning grounds near Basel. A joint agreement was worked-out and signed at the ministerial conferences in Bonn (2007), Basel (2013), Amsterdam (2020).

Longitudinal connectivity

>> Enabling free fish passage (up-and downstream) at all the hydropower plants in the Upper Rhine (between Strasbourg and Basel)

>> Finding reasonable solutions for fish passage at Rhinau, Marckolsheim and Vogelgrün until 2020.

>> Organizing a workshop concerning fish descent, together with ICPR

Re-establishment of suitable habitats for aquatic organisms

>> Planning and implementation of revitalization projects: Revitalizing the “Old Rhine” between Huningue/Weil am Rhein and Neuf Brisach/Breisach

Dynamic bedload transport

>> Bedload studies and assessments for critical flood protection projects

>> Implementation of measures according the bedload masterplan in the Upper Rhine

Repopulation of the whole Rhine basin with salmon

>> Mapping of potential spawning and juvenile habitats (in Switzerland)

>> Media events for the salmon comeback