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il biferno

 

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The Biferno river

The Biferno river is about 80 km long. It has its source in Boiano, at the foot of the Matese Massif (2050 meters above sea level) and flows into the Adriatic sea between Termoli and Campomarino, after a "pause" in the lake of Guardialfiera. The flow of the river was up to the end of the sixties of 3 cubic meter of water per second, then the water was diverted from the source in Campania. Today the flow is reduced to less than one third, with the increase of pollutants, which came especially from the non-purified waste water of Campobasso and the industrial waste of the dairy industry of Boiano, so the river is reduced to little more than a stinking gutter. But in winter and especially in the spring, the river, because of the melting of the snows of Matese and the floods (that make the flow increase up to 400-450 cubic meters per second), is cleaned and regenerated. Downstream of Castropignano in the month of June/July you can still take a refreshing bath.
The eels disappeared from the river, because of the dam of the Guardialfiera Lake, there are no more trout, the freshwater crayfish disappeared. The waterpower derived from the river served in the past to set mills in motion and then was used to produce hydroelectric energy. The hydroelectric generating station, once numerous, are now reduced in number. Biferno used to be full of fish and feed the people who lived along its banks. In Castropignano used to live a fisherman by profession and peasants placed along the river systems of fishing gear, called the "cannizze."


But now only the memory remains.