Restoring of estuarine and habitats in Lõve River

This project is needed to ensure migration opportunities for The European river lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) and other species living in the coastal sea that migrate upstream from the sea to spawning grounds in the Lõve River. 

The Lõve River is one of the largest rivers in Saaremaa. Laidevahe bay together with the Lõve River have been one of the most important spawning areas in Saaremaa. Today the fish population in Laidevahe and Oessaare bay is quite rich, but bad water exchange between the bays and poor migration opportunities from Oessaare bay to the Lõve River are concerning. Also, the fulfilment with sediment and close up of the Lõve River is problematic.

The Lõve River is a suitable spawning area for the European river lamprey, because the river has quick-flowing parts with a gravelly and stony floor/bed. Due to the low delta area and constrained access to spawning area, the population of fish has gradually declined. The Lõve River’s middle course is a habitation area for the European crayfish (Astacus astacus).

The aim of this project is to dredge the watercourse between Laidevahe and Oessaare bay, partially clean the Oessaare bay and also the delta of the Lõve River. Two spawning grounds and one rapid for river lamprey will be restored in the Lõve River. As a result, habitats of threatened fish population of the Baltic Sea will be restored. The quality of migration and spawning areas will rise and reporduction of species increase. In overall – greater ecological potential of  the Lõve River and Oesaare and Laidevahe bays will be achieved.

The project is funded by the EEA (European Economic Area) Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 Ministry of the Environment programme „Integrated Marine and Inland Water Management“.

More information about the project: