Automatic fish counter

Keeping an eye on the fish

With over 30 years of experience, continuous research, and ongoing development, the Riverwatcher boasts an impressive track record in terms of reliability and precision. The Riverwatcher has proven its services in more than 300 rivers worldwide, monitoring fish migration patterns at various locations, including fish passage facilities, weirs, and river narrows.

Different versions of the system are available to allow for customized adaptation to specific water bodies and locations. When necessary, the Riverwatcher can also be tailored to individual requirements. You can find more information about the Riverwatcher by VAKI in the attached brochure.

The system is developed and manufactured by the renowned company VAKI in Iceland. VAKI is a global leader in the development and production of systems for aquaculture, fish stock monitoring, and fish management. With a global service network, VAKI serves customers in over 50 countries worldwide.



The Riverwatcher is installed in fish passage facilities, bypasses, or other suitable narrow sections within the water. Two vertically arranged rows of IR (Infrared) light barriers are used to create silhouettes and determine the swimming direction of fish. When a fish passes through the scanner, it is registered, and its size is determined based on the captured silhouettes.
Additionally, the Riverwatcher can be equipped with a camera and a light source, provided as a combined system with visible light and IR. Depending on the location and time of operation, it’s possible to switch between both spectral ranges. The IR range is particularly suitable for nighttime operation and for capturing light-shy species.



In many cases, these systems are retrofitted into existing fish ascent aids (FAA). When retrofitting a monitoring facility into an existing FAA, several factors must be considered to ensure that the functionality of both the monitoring unit and the FAA are not compromised. The same requirements naturally apply to new FAA constructions. However, in new constructions, these considerations can be incorporated into the early planning stages to ensure the best possible integration and accessibility of the system.

The monitoring unit, while representing an independent passage within the FAA, is not hydraulically to be considered as a slot, as water can also flow around the system. A difference in water level between the beginning and end of the system is expected to be minimal, especially with cleaned trash racks. However, appropriate distances need to be provided between the integrated system in the trash rack structure and the upstream and downstream passages. A distance of approximately 50-60% of the regular trash rack length in the FAA, but at least 1.5 meters, is recommended for the downstream passage. The distance to the upstream passage should be around 70-90% of the regular trash rack length in the FAA to minimize the entry of air bubbles into the system. In the FAA of TIWAG, for example, the camera systems were installed in settling basins; these basins have twice the length of the regular basins. It is also possible to install the system in the upper water of the FAA, above the last basin. A lifting device should be provided for easy cleaning of the system.

Software & Support



Winari is the software developed by VAKI for processing and analyzing all Riverwatcher data. The scanner data is merged with the videos and can be edited within this software. Subsequently, data can be uploaded to Riverwatcher Daily. Multiple systems can be processed simultaneously in Winari, and data export to Excel is also supported.

System requirements: Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10

Note: Winari stores all data in a database. Please ensure that you always have access to the database directory and have write access to it.



Remote support using TeamViewer (No program is installed on your computer. Access is not possible after the session).

Alternatively: Installation of TeamViewer as a permanent background service.


Our Projects

I AM HYDRO GmbH is an internationally operating company. 
Since its inception, we have been involved in numerous projects both domestically and abroad.

Installation in Germany

The Riverwatcher fish counter has been successfully in use in Germany since 2006.

Installation in Austria

The Riverwatcher fish counter has been successfullly in use in Austria since 2013.

Installation in Switzerland

The Riverwatcher fish counter has been successfully in use in Switzerland since 2007.


Do you have any questions?

In this case, you can schedule a consultation, and we will address all your questions.