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Life & Natura 2000

Billstaån that connects Lake Näkten to The great lake (Storsjön). 

Super restoration – Billstaån

Billstaån (Billsta stream) runs from Lake Näkten to Lake Storsjön. Billstaån has three dams with purpose of regulating water to hydropower plants. Nature-like fish-ways are to be installed at these. A natural fish-way simply means installing a low gradient natural stream, meandering around one side of the dam. The passage will not only provide opportunity for migration of fish and other organisms, but also add natural riffle and pool habitat to the stream. These habitats are often lacking in stream sections blocked with dams. There is a fourth dam in Billstaån (Ävjandammen) which is an old dam, not in use and will be removed. The hydroelectric power plant owner Jämtkraft AB, will be responsible for these actions. In addition the removal of migration obstacles in Billstaån is supported by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), the biggest NGO for environmental issues in Sweden. 

As many tributaries in the area Billstån have been used for timber floating and several mills and sawmills has existed along the stream before the hydroelectric power plants was built. Therefore Billstaån is very uniform considering the habitat variation.  But still, this stream is harboring great potential to recover very high ecological values and a high biological production.  So with that In mind, we will in addition to the connectivity-approach also restore stream habitats by adding back stones and boulders, create new spawning beds, remove smaller man made migration barriers and  reintroduce freshwater pearl mussels.  Roughly 14 hectares revived stream habitat will be gained by this action. 

The actions in Billstaån will provide a large habitat for lake dwelling fish spices reproducing in Billstaån, mainly brown trout, which will lead to higher concentrations of smolts and that will inturn favoring the reproduction of freshwater pearlmussels.  Increased densities of fish populations in streams will benefit otter populations that, particularly during the winters when lakes are frozen over, need to find prey in running water.


An old dam no longer needed for energy production, but still a barrier for fish migration.

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