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Improving Soil Erosion and Maintaining the Health of Our River Systems

In collaboration with the Vopnafjörður municipality, the Six Rivers Project is investing in a plan that involves the reforestation and replanting of vegetation in the area to improve soil erosion and the health of the river systems.

In the summer of 2020 about 10,000 plants were planted. The long-term goal is to increase food resources for young salmon in the rivers by introducing more bioactivity into the ecosystem. The new plants are nearly all locally sourced in Iceland and more than half of the planting is birch. The rest is a blend of European rowan, tea-leaved willow, woolly willow and alder. We are also experimenting with elm which, although not strictly speaking a domestic species, is closely related to birch and which we believe may have been in Iceland before the Ice Age on the basis of fossil remains we have found here.

We hope that this programme will improve the ‘parr’ carrying capacity of the river by increasing the food and nutrients in the river and thereby increasing the numbers of healthy smolt that are able to leave the river.

Note: You can find out more about the life cycle of the Atlantic salmon here.

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