Naam JBJ Huisman MSc

OrganisatieDepartement Dierwetenschappen
OrganisatieeenheidAquacultuur en Visserij


My name is Jeroen Huisman, 45 years old, and I am born and bred in the province of Groningen. I am married, I have got three sons and I love to play rugby with them. As a child I spent many hours walking to and in the Wadden Sea, doing some bird watching, fishing, etc. This early interest in everything that moves never left me. But my main focus and interest was and is fish. As a child I was always trying to find out where the fish were and why. This basic question motivated me to study Biology at Wageningen University, and this simple question still lies at the heart of my research.

I started my working life as an ecologist (2004) at the water authority Noorderzijlvest in Groningen. At that time I was also responsible for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. As such, my work ranged from advice on major policy decisions to basic monitoring. At that time the water authority had plans to build several (tidal) fish passes. For this reason I had to gain more insight into the design and management aspects of fish passes, and a lot can go wrong in the design and building of fish passes, see photo. I soon realized that fundamental research on the relation between fish-behavior and (tidal) fish passes was scarce. Therefore I did a lot of basic monitoring work, but I also worked with pit-tags, a novelty in for a water authority in those days.

Five years ago I started my work at Van Hall Larenstein Appl. Sciences University in Leeuwarden. For the last five years I did a lot of research on tidal fish passes in the Wadden Sea area. Currently, I am working on several articles based on all this work and I hope to finish my phd early next year. In conclusion, my research focus lies on fish migration in general, but an emphasis lies on (tidal) fish passes as these are migratory pinch points, tidal fish passes in particular.

If you would like to know more about me, or the projects I am working on, please write an email to:

My direct supervisor is Dr. Ir. Leo Nagelkerke

Figuur 1 Fish pass in a small stream in Drenthe



Tidal fish passes

Some research has been done on the functioning of fish passes in rivers and streams. Usually this works entails the larger, commercial and/or rare species like salmon and sea trout. However, in tidal situations water levels and the direction of flow vary with the tide. It is this diversity that all diadromous fish species and life stages utilize to migrate up and downstream in an estuary. However, pumping stations, sluices and weirs alter the natural predictable environmental diversity and direction, for example, at a pumping station the water only flows outwards, towards the sea at stochastic intervals. How are fish coping with these changed environmental cues? How do fish utilize current tidal fish passes and are there generic design principles with regards to fish behavior? These questions and more, have been researched in the project “Ruim Baan voor Vissen”. A project in which more than 40 students spent did field work.

Last year I finished a project that researched the aquatic biodiversity of Wadden Sea salt marshes. To my surprise very little is known about the role of salt marshes of the Wadden Sea in the life history of estuarine, marine and diadromous fish species. At the moment I am working on publishing several articles on tidal migrations based on Ruim Baan voor Vissen. In addition, we are continuing our project at Nieuw Statenzijl in the Ems-river. For many years we have researched the fish passes on this location and this year we are continuing with this monitoring. I am also investigating bream migratory behavior in relation to peat lake turbidity. In this research we are trying to tackle basic questions, migrations within the lake and between lakes on several timescales. So many interesting things to research!

If you would like to know more, have questions, do not hesitate and send me an email.


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