Two years after the introduction of the boating ordinance in the district, you can hardly see swimming unicorns and beer-loving parties drifting across the Isar.
The fish and bird world seem to be recovering.
- On the Isar, one inflatable boat after the other drifts down the water, accompanied by sharp screams, the clink of glass and the occasional booming bass from loudspeakers.
Until two years ago this was still the order of the day in the summer.
It is now much quieter - and not only because boating on the Isar, which is currently in high water, is dangerous and is currently prohibited in the Munich district.
An important factor in calming down could be the boating ordinance, which came into force in the district in 2019.
“In 2019 there was still a lot going on on nice days,” says Franz Steger, head of the Lower Nature Conservation Authority at the District Office.
Especially at places like the Ickinger weir or in Wolfratshausen, “long queues sometimes formed at the entry points until people could even inflate their boats and let them into the river”.
In the end there was no longer any question of that.
And there is now a different clientele to be found, says Steger: "No more bachelor parties, but mainly families."
Regulation is very well received
The reassurance "could of course also be due to the sometimes bad weather or Corona," speculates Cornelia Breiter, head of water law.
But also with the rules that came into force two years ago: no dinghies - especially not with beer crates -, no glass bottles, no use of "unsuitable watercraft" such as inflatable unicorns and a blood alcohol limit of 0.5, to give a few examples call.
The regulation is "very well accepted", is Breiter's interim conclusion.
“We do get questions about it from time to time,” she reports.
"But then people don't criticize the rules, they say: Okay, then I'll stick to them."
The rules for boating: The district office has put up such signs at the typical entry points on the Isar.
© Graphic: District Office Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen
The general acceptance is a success, which Breiter and Steger also attribute to the educational work of the twelve Isar rangers.
“We don't want to pillory, we want to talk to people,” says Breiter.
And it obviously works.
“The rangers report that most of them now know that there are boating regulations,” says Steger and recounts a small episode: “Once the rangers encountered a family with a small child without a life jacket.
They even drove Dad back to his car to get a life jacket from there. "
No fines have been imposed yet
So far, the district office has not imposed any fines - only in "extreme cases" a warning of 100 euros.
“That is the lowest sentence,” said Breiter.
The only violations that have been found so far this year are vacationing families who were forbidden to travel by boat before June 1st.
"When you were spoken to, you apologized."
According to Breiter, there is also a good agreement with commercial tour operators.
Since 2019 you need a permit, which the district office always issues for one season subject to conditions.
Nine companies applied for and received a permit in 2020 and this year - one less than before.
"To the best of our knowledge, not all providers made use of it last year," says Breiter.
Monitoring - i.e. an investigation and observation of the Isar habitat - should provide information on how nature will develop after the introduction of the Boating Ordinance.
"We had already planned that for 2020, but then postponed it due to Corona," says Steger.
In the meantime, they have joined forces with the Munich District Office, which is now in charge of tendering the contract.
Large spawning area of the Aitel at the parking garage
"Because extensive inquiries came from several expert offices, the deadline was postponed twice," says Steger.
In addition, it turned out "that the planned financial resources are insufficient".
Now it should be clarified whether the monitoring can be funded with state funds.
But positive developments can already be seen.
As reported, this includes the large spawning area of the Aitel fish species in Bad Tölz at the level of the parking garage.
"There are also a few places where the nose has reproduced well, and the Huchen seems to be doing better," says Steger.
Overall, it can also be stated that the brood of birds is much more undisturbed than in previous years, says Steger.
"There are only a few warning calls to be heard, and on the Upper Isar it is no longer the case that the breeding seasons are concentrated on a short period of time." The area supervisors would attribute this to the "reduced environmental stress".
A lawsuit is still pending
Speaking of stress: The Bavarian Administrative Court will have to decide whether the Boating Ordinance will last in its current form.
The Bavarian Canoe Association has sued, as reported, a hearing is scheduled for January 18, 2022.
The main point of contention is the restriction of boating to the period between June 1 and October 15 (south of Tölz) or December 15 (north of Tölz).
Breiter feels arguably well armed for the legal dispute.
“We gave a lot of thought to the proportionality of the rules,” she says.
"And as things stand at the moment, it cannot be ruled out that boating before June 1st will cause damage to the flora and fauna."
By the way: Everything from the region is now also available in our new, regular Bad Tölz newsletter.