From Novaci to Târgu Cărbunești, Gilortul is the emblematic natural element of the submontane Gorj. It has been there for centuries, along with every generation that grew up on its shore, fished, bathed, made friends, worked, grew old.

Currently, the Gilort River is facing a number of important pressures and threats on plant and animal species, as well as on the habitats in which they live. Species and habitats of community interest, of both scientific and economic value, are affected by anthropogenic activities such as the regularization of the minor riverbed, the exploitation of construction materials, overgrazing or the cutting of meadows. Fish fauna has been affected by human activities, the number of species and specimens of each species has been decreasing.

Observing this, we sought to see what causes the decline of biodiversity, and we discovered them. The fish no longer have enough habitat for shelter, there is not enough food on some parts of the river, and the free movement of fish is blocked by transverse obstacles (those man-made artificial waterfalls in Târgu Cărbunești and Albeni). There are barriers that fish cannot cross, the few specimens left in isolated areas between obstacles live in rapidly changing conditions: in some parts, the river frequently changes course and therefore fish feed organisms cannot develop numerous flocks. Feeding areas often end up on land due to a change in course. The Gilort River "struggles and writhes," and all living organisms in and around the river feel this phenomenon. No wonder the fish fauna is in an unfavorable condition, but the aquatic insects (fish food) do not thrive either. Even man feels the direct effect of a river affected, by floods, by bank erosion, by changing the "good old days". Grazing on the banks of the Gilort also plays a negative role in this story, causing the erosion of the banks and not allowing the young trees to grow to form ditches. Over all these problems, the flood of 2014 spread, many fish being taken by the waters and transported downstream from the obstacle in Târgu Cărbunești, later they could not recolonize upstream.

Three species of fish of Community interest - the white-finned gudgeon (Romanogobio albipinnatus), the Golden Spined Loach (Sabanejewia balcanica) and the the Ukrainian brook lamprey (Eudontomyzon mariae) - have an unfavo The Ukrainian brook lamprey rable conservation status, requiring immediate measures to adjust the thresholds in Albeni and Târgu Cărbune. favoured fish migration, but also improved habitat diversity along the river. Other protected species – Romanian barbel (Barbus petenyi) or of economic interest to the local community, such as the common nase (Chondrostoma nasus), also need measures to strengthen their position in the ecosystem. Water quality, assessed with the help of macro-invertebrate communities, also indicates problems in certain areas, where the river has deepened to reveal riverbed marls, which are unfavourable to the installation of macro-invertebrate species

The morphological status of the rivers in the Natura 2000 site Gilort River, assessed by the morphological quality index, falls into the categories "weak" and "moderate" on most of the analysed sectors. Grazing along the banks and cutting the grasslands accelerates the processes of bank erosion, directly affecting households and agricultural land along the Gilort and Galbenul rivers.

Innovative measures are needed to meet local needs, but also to improve the general condition of the Gilort River. A first step in this direction was taken by the Fish For Life project, which aims to contribute to the restoration of natural processes on the Gilort River through ecological reconstruction measures and innovative approaches based on integrated water management and collaboration with competent institutions and local communities. We aim to restore the connectivity of the Gilort River over a distance of about 120 km, but also to improve the diversity of habitats for the mentioned fish species, by planting and shore stabilization works.

On this occasion, we invite all the factors involved in the life of Gilort to a series of discussions related to the measures that must be taken to ensure the continuity of species and habitats in the area. So that, over the years, we can leave to the next generations a Gilort river with natural processes close to those of the river that we knew in our childhood.

4 Responses

  1. petre bratila

    Fauna piscicolă în amonte de Albeni este extrem de redusă. Pescuiesc sportiv de trei ani în aceasta zonă și nu am văzut nicio schimbare în bine.

    1. Fishforlife

      @Petre Bratila pasajele inca nu sunt finalizate, iar procesul de migratie a pestilor dureaza. Un proiect similar in Franta a vazut rezultate semnificative doar dupa 10 ani.

  2. Miki

    De ce oare nu mai urcă peștii din Jiu pe albia Gilortului ? Așa cum se întâmpla cu 15-20 de ani înainte când Gilortul era plin de mreană , clean , scobar și chiar somn.

    1. Fishforlife

      @Miki foarte probabil, construirea pragurilor de la Albeni si Targu Carbunesti a blocat migratia acestora

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