Utrecht's "fish door bell" and underwater camera is back online for third year
The world's first doorbell for fish is back online in Utrecht, the city announced on Monday. The project features an underwater camera that streams live on a website, that shows the area near the Weerdsluis, a lock between the Vecht river and the city. Whenever someone viewing the livestream sees a fish, they can click a virtual doorbell to notify the lock keeper, who can then open up the gate to let fish that are waiting swim through.
Monday marks the start of fish migration season, the city said. The project means people can "help the fish that swim upstream to lay eggs in the Kromme Rijn." The waterway is contained in Utrecht province.
The best times to watch the livestream should begin in mid-April, when the fish migration is well underway. The fish are most active in the early in the morning, at dusk, and in the evening. Eel and sander, or pikeperch, are more likely to be seen at night. Other fish like the ide, common rudd, northern pike, European perch and the common bleak can also be seen, with the best photos kept in an online gallery.
“Fish are important for the quality of our water. They help keep the water healthy and clean. And we can help them by ringing the fish doorbell in time and adding more relief and structure to the water,” said Utrecht city alderman Linda Voortman. “The more protrusions and aquatic plants in the water, the more hiding and feeding places for fish. Without protection, fish are at risk of being eaten by birds and other predators."
To aid in this, the city and the Rijnlanden water board also placed different structures on the soil which give the fish space and hiding places. A piece of the city's historic Dom tower was even placed in front of the camera.
Last year, the bell was rung by over 10,000 people. A year earlier, the enthusiasm for the project brought viewers from all over, including Canada, Germany, Spain and Taiwan.
🎼I'm thinkin' about my doorbell— Gemeente Utrecht (@GemeenteUtrecht) March 29, 2021
When ya gonna ring it, when ya gonna ring it🎼
De vissen bij de Weerdsluis vestigen al hun hoop op jou: druk op die visdeurbel🐟. Dan kunnen ze snel hun ei kwijt in de Oudegracht en Kromme Rijn. Ook na 1 april (echt waar) https://t.co/uMeJQGlzvL pic.twitter.com/R1pNwhybBW