Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pollution in Møllendalselven

Møllendalselven Tributary

After some uncertainty, it is now blatantly clear that the building work in Møllendalsveien (to construct student apartments for SiB) is having a serious environmental impact on Møllendalselven. Previously I have caught them in the act of shoveling massive amounts of excavated ruble into the river, but now it is also clear that a huge amount of silt has been deposited on the river bed by drainage from the building site.
Where previously there were all sizes of rocks and weeds, providing hiding places for small trout that lived there, now there is only a layer of building-site silt.
Drainage pipes from Sib's building project,
leading to Møllendalselven

Visible water pollution by drainage pipes
in Møllendalselven

A dead fish (of dubious origin) on the river bed
Møllendalselven 10/07/2012
Mother with mature ducklings, run for cover
Møllendalselven 10/07/2012
The same family of ducklings in June 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monthly Rapport
Rather than the rather random approach of blogging about individual fish sightings and such, I have decided to save individual daily observations and sightings, and to write a general summary at regular intervals (more or less monthly) instead. These are, after all, only general observations, and as many individual incidents are bound to go unnoticed by me, I will focus on general tendencies, developments, and of coarse the occasional one-off report on particularly dramatic or noteworthy events.
From Gamle Nygårdsbro (evening) 7th June 2012

Approach to Gamle Nygårdsbro (evening) 7th June 2012

Bird life
In spite of the fact that a new public artwork (entitled 60°N 05°E) now covers a small peninsula that was a particularly popular fishing spot for herons, I have spotted herons fishing from various positions around the installation when the tide permits it. There are at least two herons that fish in this area. On the 26th of June, I saw two herons standing on the same piece of shore line, beside the path around the water.
Heron By Gamle Nygårdsbro, Bergen

Heron By Gamle Nygårdsbro, Bergen

Two Herons At Florida By Nygårdsbroen 26/06/2012

Heron In Flight By Nygårdsbroen. Bergen 26/06/2012

Marine Life
While it is definitely true that there are less large cod than previously to be seen in the water under the bridge, it is always possible to spot some kind of fish there. I have twice seen large eels during June, and there are various types of smaller fish to be seen.
Early in June I realised that several starfish had emerged on the sea bed. Now, at the end of June, it is clear that there are thousands of small starfish emerging. I have noticed gulls eating them, but in spite of this, there is such a huge quantity of starfish that it would be safe to call this an epidemic.
Starfish on the sea bed by Gamle Nygårdsbro. 30/06/12

Starfish with Modem

There has been a clear increase in the amount of long, thin seaweed growing on the sea bed. Pictured below with two other interesting features: a large tire, and a crater.
Sea Bed By Gamle Nygårdsbro - June 2012

60°N 05°E
This installation was officially inaugurated on the 15th of June, and was given a high-pressure spray-clean for the occasion. Unfortunately one of the panels has since been warped and damaged - this was first spotted on June the 21st.
Preparations For Inauguration - 60˚N 05˚E

Preparations For Inauguration - 60˚N 05˚E

Damaged Panel - 60˚N 05˚E. 22/06/2012

Tributary - Møllendalselven
I have seen some very small trout jumping in the tributary, but these are a much rarer sight than before the commencement of a large building project directly beside the river in 2010.
The building site pump all their drainage water into the river. The water is sometimes clear, but often cloudy - even slightly up-stream from the building site's drain-pipes.
In spite of the pollution, there is a great deal of wildlife along the river - particularly various birds and ducks.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Structure / observation

From this point I will try to blog simple images and captions straight from my phone as I observe stuff. In addition, I will post a list of fish/wildlife sightings each month.


Grimey water. 27/05 14:47

Location - Bridge and Tributary

Here I have posted a map to show where Gamle Nygårdsbro is in Bergen, and also to show the tributary, Møllendalselven, that runs into the fjord / lake from the Svartediket reservoir.
It wasn't until my recent sightings of what appear to be some kind of trout - or perhaps Char - that I began thinking about this as an important relative of Gamle Nygårdsbro and it's environment. It so happens that I work right next to Møllendalselven, so I have made many interesting observations there too.
When I started working there in the summer of 2009, there were usually small trout hanging out in a pool under the bridge by my work place. Since the construction of new student apartments began on the opposite bank of the river, however, that pool has been deserted - although I have seen the local heron catch a trout, and there are still very small "minnows" to be seen regularly in the river. Not only have the construction company shovelled unwanted rubble into the river (they stopped when I came out with a video camera) but they have various drains pumping into it. Occasionally the water gets very cloudy, which may be the result of drainage from the construction site or perhaps something further up stream.
If the fish that I have seen from Gamle Nygårdsbro are trout or char, then I expect that they spawn up the river, although "river" feels like a bit of an overstatement, as it's so shallow for most of the summer that it could almost be called a stream. It is easy to imagine that spawning will be harder during the ongoing construction project, but hopefully not bad enough to have long term consequences??

Location of Gamle Nygårdsbro and Møllendalselven

Cloudy water in Møllendalselven (Møllendals River)
24/05/12, 17:31

Hernon Shit?

This Goldberg installation is proving that it still looks pretty
good, even with birdshit... Does this mean that it's surface is
still suitable for the local heron to fish from? We'll see  

Fish Sightings, April / May

Fish were perhaps the most definite reason that I became interested in observing this site. There used to be several cod swimming about at any given time. I have also seen flat fish and eels.
It is currently quite rare to spot any fish here, but here are some photos and observations from the few sightings I have made over the past few weeks:

Lone Starfish. 10/05/12, 9:47

At one time there were thousands of star fish all over the sea-bed, now there are none… well almost…

Cod Sighting 29/04/12

As Gamle Nygårdsbro has actually been fished from very regularly in recent years, it seems no surprise that other places around the tip of the lake/fjord, Store Lungårdsvann, are as good for spotting fish. This cod seemed clearly visible at the time although you kind-of have to take my word for it in this shot. Taken just behind the bus stop at Florida.

Multiple Fish Sighting (honest!) 16/05/12

On the 16th of May, at around midday, I saw a couple of healthy sized cod, as well as what looked like some very young sea trout swimming in the current. Also a third type of (small) fish with a rounder body. Wish I had a zoom on my phone-camera but hey…
Here it is possible to see one of the "trout". 
Actually I  don't know much about different types of anadromous (migrational) trout. There is a small river that meets the fjord not far from the bridge, but I don't know how likely it is that such small trout would be leaving fresh water territory already??

Cod Sighting 16/05/12

Here you can see a cod.

Unidentified small fish:
On the 26th of May, I saw a whole shoal of small fish (unknown species) playing in the current, as the tide went out. About the length of a hand span.
On the 27, again I saw a couple of these fish. 


Another interesting aspect of the marine environment by Gamle Nygårdsbro are the various objects that are thrown into the water from the bridge, washed up against it's coulombs or otherwise mysteriously appear. These objects have included many bicycles, shopping trolleys, and traffic cones - staple pollution in many urban waters - swell as other objects/materials.
When I see electronic goods, such as the old modem below, this saddens me particularly as I am concerned that such products may contain harmful substances such as various heavy metals. I have no idea weather or not any of this litter can have significant consequences for the environment and marine life. Bicycles and shopping trolleys can be interesting to observe as they are slowly consumed by the sea bed. My intention here (as with the Gamle Nygårdsbro blog in general) is to present an objective documentary of any developments. This may serve as a reference to those with a more particular environmental interest, or simply as an interesting historical catalogue in it's own right.

Typical trash by Gamle Nygårdsbro

Typical urban trash. Many traffic cones and related objects ended up on the sea bed here during the extensive roadworks involved in constructing the light railway which opened in June 2010.

Disapearing Bikes (re-traced). GN 04/05/12

Bikes In Water @ Gamle Nygårdsbro 29/04/12

Over a period of several years, there were numerous bikes thrown into the water by the bridge. Some of them looked so good that I was tempted to try salvaging them with rope and hooks. Some have disappeared again, likely savaged from a boat or from the bridge. These are on the verge of disappearing in another way…

Modem In Water @ Gamle Nygårdsbro 10/05/12
This electronic device (I think it's an old sort of telephone modem) has been lying on the sea bed for some months. Close to the bridge is a site for domestic waste sorting… there may be a connection.

Birch Tree Under Gamle Nygårdsbro 10/05/12
This birch may have come from beside the nature trail that goes around the fjord.

Birch 04/05/12


The colour of the water and other factors, like how far one can see through it, depends a lot on the time of day, and the strength of the wind and the current.
Common Water Colour. 29/04/12

Murky water with yellow tint. 22/05/12, 14:17
This was a particularly warm, sunny day (about 27°)


Neptune with a twist. 29/04/12

Thorsten Goldberg Installation, 60°N 05°E

Thorsten Goldberg's installation, entitled 60˚ N 05˚ E, is now undergoing it's very last finishing touches. The work is part of a public art program to celebrate Bergen's new light railway. It was the winner of a limited competition in which five artists were invited to design a new work for this site. The work began in April.

Here are some pictures from the construction over the past two months:

Welding the supporting structure. 24/04/12, 12:58

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 24/04/12

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 29/04/12
60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 29/04/12

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 29/04/12

Mounting the facade 60°N 05°E  04/05/12, 11:21

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 04/05/12

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 04/05/12

Thorsten Goldberg installation under construction 05/05/12

View towards installation. 10/05/12, 09:39

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 10/05/12

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 10/05/12

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 10/05/12

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 10/05/12

Installation close to completion. 13/05/12, 15: 08

Installation at night. 16/05/12, 01:18

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 16/05/12

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. Construction 16/05/12

Thorsten Goldberg Installation. Almost Complete 22/05/12

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. 22/05/12, 14:11

60°N 05°E by Thorsten Goldberg. 22/05/12, 14:12