Work to replant trees and native vegetation with the Vopnafjörður Municipal Botanist and local labour, has already started. This important work will help rejuvenate soil eroded areas and introduce more bio-activity into the ecosystem. This has the potential to increase food resources for young salmon in the rivers in the longer term. The approach, of working to conserve and restore these ecosystems relies on farmers remaining on the land, to maintain their traditional agriculture and enhance the quality of habitats alongside these rivers.
In conjunction with the new research and replanting, annual egg-planting schemes have been launched across the rivers with the help and expert guidance of Hafrannsóknastofnun. When the scheme is fully implemented around one million eggs from native fish will each year be seeded in the higher reaches of the river that the salmon have been unable to reach in the past, opening up new habitat and food resources to improve growth and survival rates in the critical early stages of the life cycle.
Extending the spawning areas and nursery grounds through the construction of new salmon ladders, in the Vopnafjörður, Hafralónsá, Hofsá and Miðfjarðará rivers is also progressing as an important part of long-term plans to help Iceland’s salmon thrive. These are moving forward with the help of investment from Sir Jim and Strengur. The Miðfjarðará ladder was completed and opened in 2018 and the salmon have already colonised the newly extended upper parts of the river, which adds 4.5 kms of new habitat for the young fish.