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RIVER PROFILE

The Brda is a left-bank tributary of the Vistula. It flows from Lake Smołowe near the town of Miastko, 238 km (148 mi) from the outlet in Bydgoszcz. It may be divided into two stretches. The first one, not classified as an inland waterway – from km 238 to 14.8 – provides ideal conditions for water tourism, e.g. kayaking. The second, canalised stretch – from km 14.8 to Brdyujście – recognized to be a class II navigable waterway, flows through Bydgoszcz. In its upper reaches, the Brda has the features of a mountain river, which is why kayakers begin their trips almost at its very source. The middle section has a more lazy current. The river scenically meanders through forests and flows through a number of lakes, known to sailors, in the Tuchola Forest. In the village of Mylof (Zapora), its artificial branch begins, called the Great Brda Canal. After passing three water power plants, already within the borders of Bydgoszcz, the river has a surprisingly wild character. From c. km 15, it becomes a canalised watercourse on its last characteristic stretch. The width of the Brda in Bydgoszcz ranges from 40 to 50 m (130-165 ft), and the width of the navigable channel from 20 to 35 m (65-115 ft). Here and there, information about river kilometres is visible, either on boards or as figures painted on quays. Along the canalised section, when navigating upstream, you pass a number of locks and weirs, and in the centre of Bydgoszcz you pass the historic Młyńska Island (Mill Island) and the so-called Bydgoszcz Venice.

NAVIGATIONAL INFORMATION

DEPTH
On the canalised stretch of the Brda – from km 14.8 to Brdyujście – depth reaches 3-4 m (10-13 ft), but the depth considered safe for two-way traffic is 1.5 m (4.9 ft).

POWER LINES AND BRIDGES
All power lines run at the sag height of over 8 m (26.2 ft) at HNW. The lowest bridge on the entire canalised section of the Brda is the two-span truss railway bridge – the first one as you travel from the Vistula – with a clearance of c. 3.2 m (10.5 ft) at HNW.

LOCKS
There are two locks on the canalised stretch of the Brda. The first one – Czersko Polskie – is 115 m (377.3 ft) long and 12 m (39.37 ft) wide, and replaced the run-down 19th-century Brdyujście Lock in 2002 r. The dimensions of the other one are typical of IW E70 – that is, c. 57 m (187 ft) in length and 9 m (29.5. ft) width. In order to pass through locks quicker, phone their staff.

VEGETATION
The bed of the Brda is rather thickly overgrown with water vegetation, so be particularly careful or plants may get entangled in the screw propeller. Also duckweed, floating on the surface from mid-August until the end of October, may impede the journey. When navigating the canalised Brda, keep to the middle of the navigable channel and stay within the marked clearance gauge when passing under bridges. In Bydgoszcz, riverbed vegetation is mown at least once a year. The current of the Brda flows at the speed of 0.5 to 0.8 m/s (1.6-2.6 ft/s), which enables fairly fast fluming of the mown plants.

MOORING
It is possible to moor in many water sports clubs in Bydgoszcz, which willingly welcome the guests. In the city center the banks of the river are concreted and equipped with mooring rings, and in some places also with bits and bollards. However, it is crucial to pay attention to numerous stop and anchor bans marked with special signs. The ‘Bydgoszcz’ harbour is a representative complex, located in the city center on Wyspa Młyńska (Mill Island). It has become inherent, balanced and creative part in the present architectural and urban cityscape and in the water city character. It uses existing bay, which will also enable mooring to the piers of the adopted building which used to be Rother’s mill. It consists of two identical buildings with hotel function, culinary function and practical function connected with the harbour. Along the east bank of weirs, lower then Solidarność Bridges, there are stop stands for about 18 vessels. This harbor will be also useful for rowers and canoeists. In 2012 a modern harbor on Mill Island in the center of Bydgoszcz was put for use.




 
HYDROTECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS

THE BRDYUJŚCIE LOCK
Until recently, the brick lock opened in 1879 was the first lock along the Vistula-Odra Waterway. Its width is 18 m (59 ft) and its length 57 m (187 ft), which enables simultaneous locking of a set of two barges or a barge with a tug or a pushboat. Put out of service in 2002, after the Czersko Polskie Lock was put into operation.


THE CZERSKO POLSKIE WEIR
Built in 1904-1907, the historic roller gate dam is the oldest facility of this kind in Poland. The red-brick building beside the weir houses an engine room with a water power plant, and on the opposite side there is a modern hydroelectric plant from the 1990s. Below the weir, there is the natural, though unfortunately non-navigable, outlet of the Brda into the Vistula. During World War II, combat troops of Detached Unit “Wisła” were stationed here and sailed out for their defence tasks in September 1939 from here, defending e.g. the bridge in the Fordon district.


“KUJAWY” POWER PLANT ON THE BRDA MŁYNÓWKA
Dammed up by the Farny Weir, the Brda River swiftly flows around Młyńska Island and propels the hydroelectric plant’s water turbines at the very heart of the city (km 11.87, RB). Formerly, the Royal Mint was located here, and later an oat mill. In order to see the hydroelectric plant as well as the exhibits collected, approach the staff.


TOURIST HIGHLIGHTS

THE CANALISED BRDA
Together with the Bydgoszcz Canal, the river connects two inland waterway systems: eastern and western. Only through Bydgoszcz can you get from Gdańsk to Wrocław or from Cracow to Szczecin by water. Since the emergence of the Bydgoszcz Canal in 1774, Bydgoszcz developed from a small town of less than 1,000 inhabitants to an 80,000-strong agglomeration in the early 1920s. The factories, mills, sawmills, brickyards and power plants emerging on the river that had a port gave employment to local inhabitants, and the products of their work were exported by water to Berlin and further to the west of Europe.


A TIGHTROPE WALKER CROSSING THE RIVER
At km 11.7, before the bridge, on a rope stretched across the Brda, you will see a figure of a tightrope walker balancing over the river, ceremonially unveiled on May 1, 2004 – the day Poland joined the EU. It is said that the tightrope walker is heading for the Archer – the famous statue, a symbol of Bydgoszcz, which used to stand at Plac Teatralny.


GRANARIES: BYDGOSZCZ WATERFRONT
On the stretch between the Bernardyński Bridge (km 11.34) and the Sulima-Kamiński Bridge (km 11.7), on the LB you will first see the modern buildings of two banks, stylised to look like granaries, and then the historic granaries built in the 18th and 19th c. At present, they are the seat of the Leon Wyczółkowski District Museum.

 

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INTRODUCTION

1

IW E70 – THE EAST-WEST (E-W) STRETCH

2

THE BRDA

3

THE BYDGOSZCZ CANAL

6

THE NOTEĆ

9

THE WARTA

15

THE ODRA

19

IW E70 – THE SOUTH-NORTH (S-N) STRETCH

21

THE VISTULA

22

THE NOGAT

31

THE SZKARPAWA

36

THE VISTULA LAGOON

39

THE ELBLĄG RIVER AND THE JAGIELLONIAN CANAL

50

THE MARTWA WISŁA, THE ŚMIAŁA WISŁA, THE GDAŃSK MOTŁAWA

52

INFORMATOR

56

WATERWAY SIGNS AND MARKING

57

LEGEND

58

SCHEMES OF LOCKS AND HARBOURS

59

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