You can have a finger in Utrecht's fish destiny, Source: City of Utrecht

Bored? Then click a digital doorbell to help Utrecht fish in their mating journey

Bored? Then click a digital doorbell to help Utrecht fish in their mating journey

That way you can notify a canal lock keeper to open the gates so the animals can swim through

If you find nothing interesting on TV or even on the Internet, then the Municipality of Utrecht is inviting you to lend a helping hand, or at least a finger. All you need to do is press a digital button if you happen to spot fish on a special webcam placed in one of the city canals.

And if you’re wondering what the point is of all that, it turns out that the “fish doorbell” has become something of a beloved local modern tradition this time of the year. Spring is the fish reproduction season when many of these aquatic animals swim from the sea upstream to find spawning grounds.

Their journey, however, also often passes through the urban canals of Utrecht, such as the Weerdsluis, which is equipped with lock gates. The underwater webcam has been installed near the lock so if you see fish swimming around in there that means that the gate is closed, and they can’t pass through.

Click the button next to the webcam and you will send a signal to the lock keeper who will open the gates if he notices that many fish have gathered causing a true

Fish traffic jam

After all, the animals have a schedule to meet. So, you don’t want to tie them up in the city when they have a whole reproduction process to take care of. Nature calls.

The webcam and the fish doorbell are available from March to June here. And while you’re staring into the murky yellow water of the canal, you can see pictures and descriptions of the various species of fish that pass through, and that you may hope to encounter.

The initiative also lets people understand that the Utrecht canals are teeming with wildlife and are veritable living biomes. The website also offers a tip – check out the webcam when it's dark in Utrecht as fish prefer to travel at night.

Last year, the website was visited 8.2 million times, with the majority of visitors coming from Germany and the USA.



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