Eisack/Isarco River

The Eisack river basin at the confluence with the Etsch/Adige River (at Bozen/Bolzano) drains 4200 km2, and ranges in elevation between 3509 m a.s.l. and 235 m a.s.l, for a length of about 95 km. It features complex lithological conditions, as it includes metamorphic, granitic and volcanic rocks. The present total extension of glaciers is about 39 km2. The mean annual precipitation in the main valley ranges from 690 mm (in Kardaun/Cardano) to about 1100 mm in the upper basin. The mean annual discharge at Brixen/Bressanone is 73 m3 s-1. The selected river reach to be analyzed within the project lies between Kardaun/Cardano (just downstream of an important power plant) and the confluence with the Etsch River, for a total length of about 10 km and an average slope of 0.4 %.

This reach, mostly partially confined and now single thread, is currently altered both in terms of hydrological regime (hydropeaking) and of morphological characteristics, being rectified, embanked and subject to frequent cuts of riparian vegetation for its entire length, but nonetheless it still features a significant and important fish population. The Department of Hydraulic Engineering of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano is planning restoration works in this reach during 2015 in order to diversify habitats and thus enhance the value of the fish community.

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