The history of Skjern River can easily be related to H.C. Andersen’s tale of the Ugly Duckling. The duckling that had to go through an awfully lot, but in the end it finally became the beautiful white swan it was always meant to be.
After a 100-year discussion back and forth, about whether or not the River should be straightened out, the heavy machinery of the farmers stood ready on a cold day in March 1962. This was all done, to acquire more farming lands. This was the biggest de-watering project in Danish history. Three years later, it was complete, and the Chairman of the farmers spoke: “Now it is finally accomplished, to put Skjern River in chains”.
Luckily, every Dane knows the story about the Ugly Duckling, and the tale of Skjern River is just alike. Because even though there was created approximately 4.000 Ha farming lands, the river did not cooperate very well with the work of the human hand. The Fjord of Ringkøbing was quickly polluted with nitrogen and phosphor, which could no longer be consumed by the plants of the river, but ended up directly in the Fjord.
Less than 35 years after the River was “put in chains”, the humans found reason and submitted themselves to the power of nature. Environment politician Svend Auken was there to shovel the first dirt, that later would be the biggest restoration project in Europe, which was started in 1999 and finished in 2003. Now the tale of the Ugly Duckling seems to have found its end. However, that is far from the truth with this tale. Because in the depth of the lake the fish-king, the Atlantic salmon, had lived for more than 10.000 years. The fish-king had due to the disturbance of the humans, lived through some troublesome years in the river, and were declared extinct in 1980. Two brave young optimists from the local stream-cooperation, Niels Wegner and Søren Larsen, would not acknowledge this. They went out on the river with electro-equipment in 1981 and found a couple handfuls of juvenile Atlantic salmon that they brought to the Freshwaterlab in Funder by Silkeborg. Through will and effort from the local voluntary anglers, a big population of salmon returned to Skjern River.
Today we have some fantastic fishing for Atlantic salmon on a very big and strong population. 120km (75miles) of Skjern River is fishable for Salmon (in the fishing season). In the opinion of an angler, Skjern River offers some of the absolute finest of Danish salmon fishing and we are very proud to be able to offer accommodation at the riverbank. We guarantee an atmosphere that is worthy of the “fish-king” and promise to be helpful with fishing license, guides and gear, lunchboxes, whiskey tasting and much more.