Common Nase

Many fish species are spawning in the tributaries of danube and morava – but through construction of dams it isnt easy anymore to reach their spawning grounds upstream.

Characteristics

Body length up to max. 60 cm. While the mouth is set far underneath (a characteristic for bottom fish!), the snout is particularly outstanding, which gives it a nose-like appearance. The fish species has a high back, the distinctive snoot is dark coloured.

Spread

In fast-flowing waters such as the Rhine, Danube and Isar rivers with sand and gravel bottoms in Central and Eastern Europe, in the barbel and grayling region.

Endangerment and protection status

In the Lower Austrian Danube, the nose was still a mass species in the first half of the last century. However, the loss of spawning grounds due to river engineering measures (transverse structures, hard shoreline construction, straightening, decoupling floodplain forests) led to a significant decline in the number of noses in many sections of the rivers.

Way of life

Noses prefer fast flowing flat-water-ranges in rivers and undertake the search for food as a swarm,  in open side arms where they hunt after small animals and graze algae of the ground. From March to May, they spawn in swarms on flat and strongly overflowed gravel-benches. Often, they carry out extended upriver directed spawning-hikes as so-called middle-range-hikers. For the larva development they need warmer, current-calmed areas, for the hibernation deep, calm areas.

Special features

By preventing the construction of the Hainburg power plant in 1984, one of the last two free flow sections of the Austrian Danube was preserved. Flow-loving fish such as the nose find important habitats there, which have become scarce. Nevertheless, it does not stand best for them. Although numerous revitalization projects have been implemented in the national park area, the sediment retention of the power plants in the free flow section below Vienna leads to a continuous deepening of the river bed and thus to a gradual further decoupling of the floodplain forests. By creating suitable habitats for all ages of the nose in further renaturation projects and in approaches to stabilizing the river bed, it is to be hoped that the stocks will recover. These measures benefit almost all river fish species!

Alps Carpathians River Corridor

Within the framework of this project, an impassable barrier in the lower course of the Fischa, which is important for migration, is to be dissolved. In combination with small-scale measures (e.g. the creation of spawning grounds) and the revitalisation of the area, a significant improvement for the nose and other migratory fish species is to be achieved.