About the fish doorbell

Every spring, fish swim right through Utrecht, looking for a place to spawn and reproduce. Some swim all the way to Germany. There is a problem, however: they often have to wait a long time at the Weerdsluis lock on the west side of the inner city, as the lock rarely opens in spring. We have come up with a solution: the fish doorbell! An underwater camera has been set up at the lock, and the live feed is streamed to the homepage. If you see a fish, press the digital fish doorbell. The lock operator is sent a signal and can open the lock if there are enough fish. Now you can help fish make it through the canals of Utrecht.

Season 2023 comming to an end

Spring has past and summer has begon! That means that the Fish Doorbell is nearing its end for this season. Friday 30st of June, the camera will be shut down. But don’t worry, on the 1st of March 2024 the Fish Doorbell will be back again. So we can welcome all those beautiful fish back into our beautiful city.  

On behalf of all the fish and the lock keepers, thank you for your help!

How it works

Pressing the fish doorbell notifies the lock operator that there are fish waiting to pass. The operator can decide whether or not to open the lock. The lock seldom opens in spring, but can now be opened daily, if necessary. The fish doorbell allows us to work together to ensure that fish do not have to wait as long at the Weerdsluis lock. This is good news, because it means they are less likely to be eaten by other animals, such as grebes and cormorants.

Why the fish doorbell?

Fish are essential to the quality of rivers and canals in Utrecht, as they play a role in keeping the water healthy and clean. The fish doorbell helps fish in their annual trek to find a place to spawn and reproduce. We also want to show Utrecht’s residents and visitors how much life there is underwater in the canals. The doorbell also provides information on the species and numbers of fish travelling through Utrecht’s waterways. We can use that information to improve the quality of underwater life in Utrecht.


Did you know that fish prefer to swim in the dark when travelling from one place to the next? It is safer than during the day, as there are fewer birds and other predators about. Make sure to check out the live stream when it is dark outside, as that is when you are most likely to spot fish.


The fish doorbell is a project by the Municipality of Utrecht, Waterboard De Stichtse Rijnlanden and Water Authority Amstel, Gooi and Vecht. Together, those organisations are in charge of water management and quality in the Vecht and Utrecht’s canals.