Coming winter Natuurpunt will start the restoration of 4 hectare of habitat of the European Weatherfish at Arendonk. Past spring the presence of the European Weatherfish was investigated by using E-DNA analysis, which led to the conclusion the species was not present anymore.

Have you ever heard of the European Weatherfish? This species got his unique name due to its changing activity patterns when air pressure rises or falls. This fish used to be kept as a weather predictor in aquariums. Another special trait is that he buries himself in the mud during dry periods and during winter.  Discover more about this unique species here.

The pond banks are afforested and the ponds are connected to the stream whereby colonisation of predating species is possible. This is not ideal, considering that the larvae of the European Weatherfish are very sensitive to predation. On top of that, the stream water is also enriched with phosphorus and nitrogen due to agricultural activities.

To restore the habitat the pond banks will be cleared coming winter. Then a topographic survey will be done of the ponds. This study will be used to calculate the required dike and dam heights. In 2018 the dikes will be restored and  weirs will be placed. The water supply is currently being investigated by the lab B-ware. There will possibly be an adaptation of the water inlet for the supply of clean water.

Thanks to these actions, the habitat of the European weatherfish will be restored. This is not only good news for this specie, but also the great bittern (Botaurus stellaris), the little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) and the spotted darter (Sympetrum depressiusculum) could profit.

digital elevation model of the Rode Del, with the ponds in question in the south (dark blue)
Want to learn more?

More information about the European weatherfish can be found on the following websites: