The Freshwater Forest

Michel Roggo's Image

Michel was diving near the water’s surface when he spotted a huge pike disappearing into the mass of aquatic plants below, called watermilfoil. He followed for a closer look and noticed that some supported thick clusters of zebra mussels. Glancing up he found himself immersed in an ‘underwater jungle with an endless view’.

Watermilfoils and zebra mussels are both prolific breeders easily spread by human activity. They have colonised fresh water far beyond their place of origin, causing harmful changes in the areas they are introduced into. Zebra mussels’ filter feeding increases water clarity, significantly reducing plankton densities and disrupting ecosystems.

Behind the lens

Michel Roggo

Michel Roggo


Michel has worked as a professional photographer since 1987 and is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. In 2011 he launched the Freshwater Project, and over seven years he photographed 40 different and spectacular freshwater environments across the world. Michel has also shown his work in 40 solo exhibitions.

Image details

  • Sony α7R
  • 16–35mm f4 lens at 16mm
  • 1/40 sec at f8  •   ISO 200  •   Nauticam housing
  • Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

More images from Michel Roggo

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Freshwater Eden
Bottom view

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