Less pond

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pond less pond
Geographical location Canton of St. Gallen , Switzerland
Tributaries Steinach
Drain Steinach → Lake Constance
Islands 1
Places on the shore St. Georgen
Coordinates 749 067  /  253854 coordinates: 47 ° 25 '7 "  N , 9 ° 24' 51.1"  O ; CH1903:  749 067  /  253854
Less pond (Canton of St. Gallen)
Less pond
Altitude above sea level 838  m above sea level M.
surface 4.13 ha
volume 154,800 m³
Maximum depth 8.35 m
Middle deep 3.75 m
Catchment area 127 hadep1
Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE AREA Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE VOLUME Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE MAX DEPTH Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE MED DEPTH Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE Catchment Area

The Less Weiher (alternative spelling: Less Weier ) is an artificially created reservoir in the municipality of St. Gallen in Switzerland .

The dam of the Less pond is the oldest functioning dam in Switzerland.


The little pond is located in the southeastern municipality of St. Gallen, between St. Georgen and the adjacent municipality of Speicher . North of the 838 m above sea level. The “Schwarzer Bären” station on the Appenzell – St. Gallen – Trogen . The less pond is fed and flowed through by the Steinach , which flows into Lake Constance on its further course . There is an island in the northeast of the pond.


A natural body of water in the area of ​​today's lake was created after the last glacial period as a marginal glacial lake on a terminal moraine . In the course of history it has been changed again and again by human intervention.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the water from the Steinach was used to supply local businesses with energy. In 1815, the businessman Michael Less founded the company "Michael Less & Comp.", Which ran several companies in the textile and metal industry. In order to ensure the energy supply of his operations even in dry periods, Less had the lake named after him built from 1821 to 1823. Neighboring companies that also wanted to use the water of the reservoir had to pay rent to less. After Weniger's death in 1836, the pond remained in family ownership and was managed by a foundation until the 20th century.

In the 20th century, the less pond lost its economic importance due to the decline in industry and increasing nature conservation requirements. It became financially unprofitable for the foundation and plans to drain and backfill the lake were being prepared. In 1974 the pond was drained, which alerted the nature conservation association of the city of St.Gallen and the surrounding area, as this measure was carried out shortly before the domestic amphibians spawned. The association applied to the city parliament of St. Gallen to place the lake under protection. Together with the owners and the city, the nature conservation association developed the “Protection Ordinance for Less Ponds”, which officially came into force in 1979. The little pond was the first nature reserve in the city of St. Gallen. From then on, the lake was looked after by the nature conservation association, the owner remained the Less Foundation.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the owners announced that they would sell the less pond. The nature conservation association lacked the money for this, so the water was acquired in 2002 by the St. Gallic Natural Science Society (NWG). The NWG developed and financed plans for the ecological upgrading of the lake (project “Less Weier Plus”), the nature conservation association continues to take care of the lake. In 2006, a few additional amphibious pools were built at the Less pond. In 2011, the NWG opened the nature trail "Industrial and Nature Trail Less Weier - St. Georgen - Mulenenschlucht".

natural reserve

The little pond is protected as an amphibian spawning area of national importance under the object number SG020. Particularly worthy of protection are the occurrences of the pond newt, classified as “ critically endangered” in Switzerland, and the common toad classified as “endangered” , and the lesser pond is home to one of the highest populations of water frogs in the country. Furthermore, the lake is a spawning area for the mountain newt , the thread newt and the common frog . Fire salamanders also appear here and there . St. Georgenstrasse, which runs right next to the pond, is temporarily closed to road traffic during the amphibian migration.


  • Canton St.Gallen, Office for Environment and Energy: Monitoring of the small lakes - St.Gallen's lesser pond. (Brochure ( PDF; 3.5 MB ))

Web links

Commons : Less pond  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Less pond St. Gallen. schweizersee.ch, accessed on August 2, 2018 .
  2. Julia Slater: Dams between fear and hope. SWI swissinfo.ch, June 6, 2011, accessed on August 6, 2018 .
  3. ^ Canton of St.Gallen: Monitoring of the small lakes. P. 2.
  4. ^ A b David Scarano: Less pond: Protected today, previously used industrially. St. Galler Tagblatt, July 26, 2011, accessed on August 6, 2018 .
  5. ^ Michael Szönyi: Geoland Switzerland . vdf Hochschulverlag, Zurich 2007, ISBN 978-3-7281-3077-8 , p. 74 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  6. a b NVS protected areas: Less pond. Nature Conservation Association of the City of St.Gallen and Surroundings NVS, accessed on August 6, 2018 .
  7. The projects “Less Weier Plus” and “Industrial and Natural Path”. St. Gallische Naturwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft, accessed on August 6, 2018 (PDF; 13.2 MB).
  8. Priority areas nature and landscape. Office for Nature, Hunting and Fishing, Canton of St. Gallen, January 22, 2002, accessed on August 6, 2018 (PDF; 171 KB).
  9. Amphibian spawning areas of national importance - SG020 Less pond community St.Gallen SG. St.Gallen Nature Museum, accessed on August 6, 2018 .