Danube Iron Gates Passage options to be verified

The Iron Gates I and II dams between Romania and Serbia are a major barriers for sturgeon and other characteristic migratory Danube fish species. The dam complexes consists of weirs, ship locks and hydropower stations. The Iron gates are the first impassable obstacles in the Danube from the black sea and are located at ca. 850 km distance from the estuary in the Black Sea. Restoration of river connectivity at these sites would reopen a reach of more than 800 km upstream to the Gabcikovo dam, downstream Bratislava, Slovakia. This will open migration routes into the Middle Danube and its tributaries to several migratory fish species. 

Following a scoping mission by FAO in 2011 the Danube range states have not been able to raise funding for a pilot project to investigate the options for facilitation of migration at the two dams until 2013. Currently, a consortium in cooperation including the Romanian DDNI (Danube Delta National Institute), ARCADIS, LINKit  consult, Wanningen Water consult, Fish Flow Innovations has obtained funding for a pilot study. The project is partially financed by the Dutch government under  the Partners for Water Programme.


Extend the opportunities for different sturgeon species to migrate 800 km upstream in the Danube river system. Project result will be a report providing a continuation of the 2011 FAO study. The following activities are carried out and reported:

  • Tagging and monitoring of sturgeons in order to determine the correct location for a fish passage at the Iron Gates II;
  • Preliminary design of fish way at Iron gates I and II for upstream fish migration, including a cost estimate.
  • Preliminary study to downstream fish migration possibilities