The benthic fauna of the Verdon designates all the organisms living on or near the bottom of this river. This fauna is particularly diversified and complex. It plays an important role in the aquatic ecosystem of a river.
Census in the Verdon
The Verdon is home to a wide variety of benthic species. Ranging from invertebrates such as mollusks, crustaceans and insects, to fish and reptiles. Some species are endemic to the region, meaning that they are found nowhere else in the world. Like the Apron du Rhône for example.
Among the most common invertebrates of the Verdon. We find mayflies, plecopters, trichopters, diptera, molluscs and crustaceans. These species are important for the Verdon ecosystem, as they form the basis of the aquatic food chain.
Fish are also abundant in the Verdon. They include species such as brown trout, rainbow trout, grayling, chub and southern barbel. These species are adapted to the water conditions of the Verdon. They play a crucial role in the ecosystem of the river.
Evolution of the benthic fauna of the Verdon
Over the years, the benthic fauna of the Verdon has undergone many changes. These are mainly due to the construction of dams in the second half of the XXth century. This human impact led to profound modifications of the natural habitat of the benthic fauna. Before the construction of the dams, one could for example observe salmon in the Verdon. They have completely disappeared since then.
Water pollution by nitrates from agricultural activities can have a negative impact on water quality. Fortunately, there is no intensive agriculture in the Verdon basin. Moreover, all wastewater from the municipalities along the Verdon is collected by wastewater treatment plants. However, in summer, with a reserved flow, one can easily observe the damage caused by the sun cream on the surface of the water. Fortunately, this pollution is very short-lived.
Benthic fauna and human activity
Human activity in the Verdon has an important impact on the benthic fauna of the river. Fishing, for example, can have a negative effect on the fish population, which is an important part of the benthic fauna.
There are several ways to minimize the impact of human activity on the benthic fauna of the Verdon:
Limiting the use of chemicals
In Castellane, for example, two public dumps were built near the river. This could have a negative impact on the water quality of the Verdon. By removing and modernizing these dumps, we were able to reduce the amount of pollutants in the river, which helps to protect the benthic fauna.
Raising public awareness of the benthic fauna of the Verdon
Recreational activities such as canoeing, rafting and swimming can have a negative impact on the benthic fauna. By making people who practice these activities aware of the potential impacts on the ecosystem, we can encourage more environmentally friendly behavior. This is the role of the professional river guides who accompany you on our activities.
Boats can disturb the natural habitats of species, which can affect their reproduction and survival. Recreational activities can also cause physical damage to benthic species due to the disturbance of the river bottom. It is our duty to take care of the river bottom as a priority.
Adopt sustainable fishing practices
Fishing is an activity that can have a negative impact on the benthic fauna of the Verdon, especially on fish. It is now time to adopt sustainable fishing practices. Indeed, the release of fish and selective fishing can greatly minimize the impact on fish populations. As well as the trampling on the river bottom still practiced by too many fishermen. Fishing in the Verdon should be done with the feet out of the water.
Restore natural habitats
Dams, canals and dykes can alter the natural habitats of the benthic fauna. Restoring these habitats, removing obstacles and re-establishing river currents can help maintain benthic fauna populations. However, the Verdon dams are of national interest. They will not be “unbolted” tomorrow.
Establish protected areas
The creation of protected areas along the Verdon River can reduce the impact of human activity on the benthic fauna. These zones can be regulated fishing zones, controlled bathing zones or zones for the conservation of fauna and flora.
By adopting these measures, it is possible to minimize the impact of human activity on the benthic fauna of the Verdon. These measures will also contribute to maintaining a healthy and diverse ecosystem.