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This technology has been enhanced in the FIThydro project! See Innovative technologies from FIThydro for a complete list.

Quick summary

Figure 1: CASiMiR model of river stretch and results for adult barbel (source:SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH).
Figure 2: Example of an operational mitigation measure: reduced downramping rate (source:SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH).
Figure 3: Predicted migration paths based on rheoreactive behaviour of grayling (source:SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH).
Figure 4: View of the CASiMiR interface (source:SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH).

Developed by: SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH, Matthias Schneider, Ianina Kopecki


Type: Tool


CASiMiR is a software package with different modules aiming to assess the impacts of human measures on river ecology.

CASiMiR-Fish is a habitat suitability model that imports results of 2D hydrodynamic modelling and relates them to the requirements of aquatic species, such as different life stages of fish species, macroinvertebrates or macrophytes. The model delivers quantitative information on the quality and availability of hydro-morphological habitats and their changes, caused by changes in hydrology (temporal flow features), hydraulics (spatial flow feature) and morphology (Figure 1). In contrast to other habitat suitability models, it is based on a multivariate approach that is able to integrate rules for the description of habitat requirements. These rules are generated based on data evaluation and/or ecological expertise.

CASiMiR-Hydropeaking is a model able to process unsteady flow data for habitat risk assessment. Dynamic parameters as ramping rates (water level changes over time) are used to assess the stranding risk or drift risk for young fish during rapidly changing flows that occur in rivers under hydropeaking impact (Figure 2). Additionally, the habitat persistence, as an indicator for the sustainability of habitats for organisms with restricted mobility (larvae, macroinvertebrates), can be quantified and assessed for different scenarios of turbine operation and morphological mitigation.

CASiMiR-Migration is an agent-based model developed within FITHYDRO. It is used to assess the effectiveness of the attraction flow downstream of fish passes. It is based on the evaluation of hydraulic features, such as flow velocity-magnitude, -direction and -gradient as well as morphological features such as river bottom gradients, vicinity of flow obstacles to predict favorable and unfavorable swimming paths for migratory fish (Figure 3).


CASiMiR integrates interfaces for several 2D hydrodynamic models such as Hydro-AS_2D, SRH, BASEMENT, FLUMEN, River2D. The model has been applied in rivers of most different dimensions, types and stretches with lengths between several 10 m to sections of several dozens of kilometers (Figure 4).

CASiMiR is unique in that it makes use of physical and biological parameters through the application of expert knowledge using fuzzy logic-based rule systems, but can also use the standard preference function method as well. The main advantages of using habitat simulation models are:

  • The ecological condition of an aquatic ecosystem is directly coupled with the living conditions of the typical resident species.
  • The use of habitat models allows for the effects of changing flow rates and structural characteristics to be accounted for and can be used to predict their impacts.
  • Changes to the flow rate and morphology result primarily in impacting the water depth, flow velocity, and substrate conditions, all of which are major factors in determining the habitat suitability and can be directly evaluated with numerical models.
  • Due to the direct relationship between habitat conditions and flow rate, a quantitative basis can be established whereby an overall ecological assessment of the habitat requirements can be performed.

Relevant mitigation measures and test cases

Relevant measures
Bypass combined with other solutions
Cleaning of substrate - ripping, ploughing and flushing
Complete or partial migration barrier removal
Construction of a 'river-in-the-river'
Construction of off-channel habitats
Fish refuge under hydropeaking conditions
Migration barrier removal
Mitigating rapid, short-term variations in flow (hydro-peaking operations)
Mitigating reduced annual flow and low flow measures
Mitigating reduced flood peaks, magnitudes, and frequency
Nature-like fishways
Placement of dead wood and debris
Placement of spawning gravel in the river
Placement of stones in the river
Pool-type fishways
Removal of weirs
Restoration of the riparian zone vegetation
Relevant test cases Applied in test case?
Altheim test case -
Altusried test case Yes
Anundsjö test case -
Bannwil test case -
Bragado test case -
Freudenau test case -
Gotein test case -
Guma and Vadocondes test cases -
Günz test case -
Ham test case -
Las Rives test case -
Schiffmühle test case Yes
Trois Villes test case -

Other information

Base versions of CASiMiR are free for download under Advanced versions can be purchased via Scientific and commercial licenses are available.

Relevant literature

  • Noack, M., Schneider, M. and Wieprecht, S. (2013): The Habitat Modelling System CASiMiR: A Multivariate Fuzzy Approach and its Applications; in Ecohydraulics: An Integrated Approach, Chapter 6 (75-93); Editors I. Maddock, A. Harby, P. Kemp, P. Wood, John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Schneider, M., Kopecki, I., Tuhtan, J., Sauterleute, J., Zinke, P., Bakken, T., Zakowski, T., Merigoux, S. (2016): A Fuzzy Rule-based Model for the Assessment of Macrobenthic Habitats under Hydropeaking Impact. River Research and Applications, 1467-1535
  • Kopecki, I., Tuhtan, J., Schneider, M., Ortlepp, J., Thonhauser, S., Schletterer, M. (2014): Assessing Fishway Attraction Flows Using an Ethohyraulic Approach. 3rd IAHR Europe Congress, Porto, April 14-16.

Contact information