Connecting mussels and fish

LIFE Connects have clear connections to science and one of our ongoing projects is with Marie Andersson, a student at Lund University. Her master thesis is about the freshwater pearl mussel and the glochidia’s choice of host fish. She performed fieldstudies in Vramsån, one of the lager tributaries to Helge å.

- Vramsån is truly an amazing place, with lovely nature all year around. When I was here during July the river-water crawfoot was in full bloom and damselflies were flying around the river. My favourite thing about Vramsån must be the common kingfisher and it always seems to be around during my visits to the river. Vramsån is not to forget in the winter and with a little luck you can spot the white-throated dipper singing or looking for insects. There is always something to see and experience around Vramsån! says Marie about the river she has studied.

On the question on why she did choose to study the freshwater pearl mussel She answers:

- A part of LIFE CONNECTS intends to improve the freshwater pearl mussel’s status in Vramsån and new parts of the river will be available for fish migration during the project. To maximize the reintroduction of the freshwater pearl mussel it is important to know and research the mussel’s choice of host fish. The larvae of the freshwater pearl mussel, called glochidia, parasitize on the gills of trout or salmon for a part of its life cycle before they can survive on their own burrowed in the river bed. In the summer of 2020, we started a research were both salmon and trout along with pregnant female mussels where placed in boxes at the river bed. After 15 days the fish were examined and the number of mussel larvae on their gills were counted. The number of glochidia per fish varied between 0 and 107. The result also showed that river pearl mussels in Vramsån preferred trout over salmon. The study will also be used to determine where the most suitable spots to reintroduce the freshwater pearl mussel in Vramsån is.


Marie hope that her research can contribute to the LIFE CONNECTS project and to strengthen the mussel population in Vramsån.

- To be part of a big project like LIFE Connects is very exciting and I think it is important that my work and results will be used to save the freshwater pearl mussel in Vramsån by planning suitable actions. The mussels are so important for the ecosystem and filtrate the water for a better water quality. This leads to a better habitat for themselves and also for many other aquatic species, where mussels thrive many other organisms also do! she says.

After the thesis have been published in January Marie hopes to find a job where she can contimuing working with helping aquatic organism and improve aquatic ecosystems.


The LIFE CONNECTS project thank Marie for her persistent and great work! Through her efforts the project can create better living conditions and habitats for the freshwater pearl mussel in Vramsån. Good luck Marie and you are always welcome back to LIFE CONNECTS!



LIFE CONNECTS was greatly represented in RivEM Week this year. Olle Calles, Samuel Shry, Martin Österling, Sebastian Rock and Ivan Olsson gave presentations about their LIFE CONNECTS related work. Topics like Salmon migration behaviour before and after river restoration measures, and mussel introductions using different host fish species where on the agenda among other things. Ivan Olsson gave a presentation about socio-economic effects as a result of LIFE CONNECTS. His presentation can be viewed here: Monitoring River Restoration Success Using Ecological Research and the Ecosystem Services Approach.

We thank the RivEM-organizers for a great event.


Main objectives with the LIFE CONNECTS 2020 MEETING were to give a general update and to create synergies between project partners, external stakeholders, and different research teams involved using LIFE CONNECTS as a platform.

About 40 participants took part of the event using zoom, and the different presentations given revealed the great nature of LIFE CONNECTS, quality and diversity in other words! Some of the highlights include presentations related to the removal of Marieberg HPP, salmon migration behaviour in Rönne å River and the interactions between freshwater pearl mussel and its host fish in Vramsån River.

We also greatly appreciate the presentations given by Gustavo from the European Commission (EASME), Bent from NEEMO and Ingemar at the County Board of Jämtland who together put LIFE CONNECTS on the national/international map. In addition, we thank invited students, external researchers and our consultants who together with the project crew and others made the conference successful indeed.

Bellow the conference program including the presentations which can be at display by clicking on the headlines.


Day 1


Day 2



Ivan Olsson, Karin Olsson, Erik Schenström (LC), Lukas Österling, Kim Bernt, Johan Wagnström, Gerda Tepic (CAB Skåne), Johan Tielman (UNIPER), Karl-Johan Persson (CAB Kalmar), Fredrik Nordwall, Mårten Gustafsson (Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, SWAM), Olle Calles, Samuel Shry, Martin Österling, Sebastian Rock, Jan-Olof Göran Andersson, Johan Watz (KAU), Tord Andersson (Klippan Municipality, KM), Anders Karlsson, Ebbe Berglund and Julius Jarving Ohlsson (Sportfiskarna, SAA), Ingemar Näslund (CAB J), Peter Mathisen (CAB X), Ida Maria Rigoll (SVEA), Anders Persson, Anders Nilsson, Marie Andersson (LU), Sebastian Sobek (UU), Lina Polvi Sjöberg (UMU), Gustav Hellström (SLU), Jakob Bergengren (Tekniska verken), Anders Eklöv (Eklövs fiskevård), Peter Belin, Fredrik Holmberg (Synlab), John Fidler (Naturcentrum), Fredrik Lundblad (Naturentreprenad Syd), Viktor Hebrand (Fiskevårdsteknik), Bent Jepsen (LIFE Monitoring team, Neemo) and Gustavo Becerra-Jurado (The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, EASME).


Electrofishing from boat to catch adult salmon

In September, electrofishing was carried out from a boat in Rönneå to catch adult salmon. Electrofishing from boat  builds on the same principles as traditional electrofishing, but you do it with the help of a boat at areas where you can not do traditional electrofishing. With the help of electrofishing from boat, you can catch larger fish, which was also the purpose in this case. The salmon that were caught were placed in large tubs and then moved upstream of the three hydroelectric power plants in Klippan municipality. DNA samples were taken from the salmon to map their geneome. Small transmitters were placed on the salmon to get information about their movement patterns upstream the power plants. Knowing where the salmon migrate we can provide information about where important spawning areas are located. The position of the salmon is updated in real time and seems to thrive in its former spawning grounds. In the future the fish will be able to use these areas for spawning.

Electrofishing from boat was also carried out in the water reservoir in Stackarp and Forsmöllan. In Stackarp, few fish and species of fish was caught in general. In Forsmöllan the amount of fish was more abundant but still not as many as predicted. The various fish species caught in the reservoirs was for example perch, roach and pike.

The Scania nature conservation reward goes to Fredrik Lundblad, Naturentreprenad Syd AB

The Scania nature conservation reward goes to Fredrik Lundblad, Naturentreprenad Syd AB

The county administration board of Scania (Skåne) award Fredrik Lundblad the Scania natur conservation reward for his dedication and driving force to recreate free flowing and sustainable waters for humans and nature. Fredrik Lundblad and his collegues at Naturentreprenad Syd AB are involeved in the LIFE CONNECTS project and will the next couple of years help the project fulfill its goals. Congratulations to the reward!

Each year the county administration board of Scania (Länsstyrelsen Skåne) Award a person, organisation or Company for important efferts for nature conservation in the county. This year the honorable reward was given to Fredrik Lundbland, Naturentreprenad Syd AB for his work with water restauration. In a pressrelease the governor Anneli Hulthén says that:

Fredriks dedication for our running waters and its inhabitants is unique. The nature conservation work in Scania has, with Fredriks cost effictive and to a large extent idealistic work, lead to the restaruration of several rivers.

Fredrik Lundblad has worked with restauration of waters for a long time and to a large extent in Scania. This year he and his colleagues will be involeved in LIFE CONNECTS, in among others Rönne å and Mörrumsån.

Fredrik is proud and happy for the reward and says:

It is a great honor to get this reward. But I regard it as not only mine, but as a reward for the team we are at Naturentreprenad Syd AB. Me and my wife Andrea have the overall responsibility for all the projects and even if it is me in the excavator I have a staff that takes care of transport, repairs, fencing and everything else. Everyone involved is handpicked and extremely commited and interested in river restoration.

The Company is situated in Bjuv and it started because the great interest for water and especially running waters and the nature conected with them. The dedication for water restauration is obvious and not something you can miss when talking to him. On the question about what is driving him, he says:

I started this buissnes due to the simple reason that I was tired of all the Projects that was done more to promote the contractor than the nature. My driving force is to prove that you can do river restauration in cost effective ways. The money available for restauration are limited and the need for restauration huge. 

What do Fredrik hope that LIFE CONNECTS can achieve? He answers:

That the funding we get from EU will be used reasonably and that it result in restoration actions.

Once again, congratulations to Fredrik and the team at Naturentreprenad Syd AB!



Klippans Municipality and the Rönne å project was nominated by the swedish environmental agency environmental price

Klippans Municipality and the Rönne å project was nominated by the Swedish Environmental Agency environmental award

Five contributions was nominated in the category "Endurance and long term perspective" and one of those was Klippans municipality. The Rönne å project is of importance to Klippan and will create many positive effects for the biodiversity, but also for the tourism and the rural development.

The municipality participated on the price cermony, that was digital. The price in the category "Endurance and long term perspective" went to the Swedish Outdoor Association.