European Rivers Network: the large La Roche qui Boit dam removed from Sélune River in France

European Rivers Network: the large La Roche qui Boit dam removed from Sélune River in France

The hydroelectric dams of La Roche-qui-boit and Vezins were built on the Sélune in early 20th century. They halted migration of Atlantic salmon, lamprey, eel and other fish. In 2019, the RwB International coordinator Eugene Simonov made a pilgrimage to Normandy to witness the beginning of Vezins dam removal. Read Notes of Eco-Pilgrim. Later outburst of Covid-19 slowed down dam removal…

“La Roche qui Boit” Dam in June 2022. Photo by ERN – Roberto Epple (compare with RwB photo from 2019 )

Now good news came from European Rivers Network:

– The second dam “La Roche qui Boit” has been also removed!
After many postponements, the second 17-metre high dam “La Roche qui boit” on the Sélune has been demolished. A 45-metre wide breach has already been opened to allow the flow of any floods. The remaining sides of the 120 m wide structure and the renaturation work should be completed by the end of 2022. After the demolition of the 37 m high Vezins dam two years ago, the ecological continuity of the historic salmon river Sélune is now restored after about 100 years. In the main river alone, more than 60 km are free and allow access to former spawning sites. Salmons could swim up the Sélune from the Baie Saint Michel during the next salmon migration, at the latest in spring 2023. Two castillons (salmon that have only spent one year at sea) have already been observed by specialists just downstream of the “Roche qui boit”. The campaign for a free Sélune led by associations including ERN, the French Fishing Federation, FNE and others will have lasted 20 years. A great success!

Source : ERN – Roberto Epple

The Rivers without Boundaries Coalition sends its sincere congratulations to ERN and other parties involved (even to the energy company to which the dam belonged:).