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The Rejuvenated Dead-Tisza: A Stunning Nature Trail Created in Tiszakécske


The project aims to revitalize the local flora and fauna. Three of the four oxbow lakes were dredged, the banks were renovated, and continuous water replenishment was ensured.

The rehabilitation of the Dead-Tisza in Tiszakécske has been completed, reviving the wildlife in three oxbow lakes. The project, which began in 2017, aimed to revive the weakened aquatic habitats of recent decades, providing a suitable home for the area's fish, amphibian, and bird populations. The project was carried out by our company, Duna Aszfalt Zrt., and the technical handover is currently underway.

Achieving Adequate Water Replenishment

The 1.2 billion HUF project, implemented within the framework of the Environmental and Energy Efficiency Operational Program, accomplished all designated tasks:

  • Dredging of the 1st, 3rd, and 4th oxbow lakes and bank renovation happened.
  • Creation of a nature trail.
  • Ensuring water replenishment with engineering structures.

The program was carried out under the leadership of the Kiskunság National Park, in cooperation with the Municipality of Tiszakécske and the Middle Tisza Region Water Directorate. At the event presenting the results in Tiszakécske, the stakeholders emphasized the significance of the development.

A Prime Hiking Destination

János Tóth, Mayor of Tiszakécske, recalled that the renovation of the four oxbow lakes in the area had been a city goal for several years. "Accordingly, the previous city administration completed the dredging and rehabilitation of the 2nd oxbow lake. Subsequently, the city - also on its own - carried out certain level renovations of the 3rd oxbow lake." He highlighted that a prime hiking destination was created for the locals, offering nature study opportunities for local educational institutions through the nature trail also for environment classes. During these activities, children can learn about the valuable wildlife of the Dead-Tisza and the functioning of nature conservation.

Eliminating Extremely Poor Conditions

Ernő Kovács, Government Commissioner of the Bács-Kiskun County Government Office, recalled that the rehabilitated oxbow lakes were previously in extremely poor, neglected condition, filled with trash. "Many were unaware of the natural treasure nearby," he noted. He recognized the need to restore this area during his mayoral term. After winning the tender, he participated in mapping the area and assessing how it is worth to begin the work.

Tourist Attraction

The government commissioner told in his answer to magyarepitok.hu that he considers the rejuvenation of the oxbow lakes significant also from a tourism perspective, as it will attract many locals and visitors from other parts of the country to the revitalized Dead-Tisza. Moreover, part of the area is planned to be opened for water sports in the future, without disturbing the peace of hikers and anglers. On behalf of the contractor Csaba Varga, the regional director of Duna Aszfalt Zrt., called the revitalized Dead-Tisza a jewel box during his speech. He personally considers the value conserving project important since he grew up near one of the oxbow lakes.

Revived Oxbow Lakes

Csaba Varga explained that the project involved rehabilitating three of the four Tisza oxbow lakes: dredging the 3rd and 4th oxbow lakes was relatively straightforward. However, he highlighted the rehabilitation of the 1st oxbow lake, which posed a significant challenge for Duna Aszfalt’s experts but was ultimately successful. The 1st oxbow lake required complete drainage for silt dredging, and the fish stock had to be relocated during this period. The regional director thanked the Tiszakécske and Surroundings Sports Fishing Association for their assistance, without which this phase of the work would not have been possible.

A Unique Nature Trail with Bird Watching

Within the multi-part project, Varga Csaba is perhaps most proud of the new nature trail, which features 12 stops over 2500 meters, showcasing the wildlife and treasures of the Tisza. The information boards along the route provide insights into the river's fish and bird populations, and the bird watching spots and birdhouses allow for close observation.

The regional director of Duna Aszfalt highlighted the adequate water replenishment of the oxbow lakes as a momentous goal of the project. He considered it an important achievement that due the structure built as part of the project now continuous refreshing and consistent water replenishment for the oxbow lakes is ensured, eliminating previous water shortage problems. The renovated sluices also ensure water transfer between the oxbow lakes.

Planning for the Future

Speaking to magyarepitok.hu, János Tóth stated that the just-completed development not only creates new opportunities for locals but is also part of a comprehensive tourism strategy that has been shaping since 2014. "At that time, we had a hotel without any attractions, and it was already clear that Tiszakécske needed to be developed from a tourism perspective," the mayor pointed out. He added that accordingly, the Tiszakécske projects financed from the TOP included a water tour stop on the Tisza, a lookout tower, and the development of the local narrow-gauge railway, whose endpoint is not far from the now-renovated oxbow lakes. "The rehabilitation of the Dead-Tisza can clearly be classified as such since it creates a tourism attraction based on our wonderful natural assets for nature lovers."

He also mentioned that the 1st oxbow lake serves as a training ground for the kayaking and canoeing training launched in the city four years ago. "The beginner children can learn to swim and then paddle here before continuing their training on the Living Tisza. We are proud that in such a short time, we have managed to train six national team kayakers." The mayor also revealed plans for similar future developments, including the creation of a dock for recreational boating on the Living Tisza near one of the narrow-gauge railway's endpoints.

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