The Kleine Nete is one of the cleanest rivers in Belgium. It contains a lot of rare fish species. In the past the river has been straightened to accomodate the development of straight farmland or urbanisation. Natural flood area's have been build on or disappeared under the plows of local farmers. Dams were build to control the waterlevel but these prevented the fish from migrating upstream.
In recent years this outdated policy has changed. Mostly due to the flood problems downstream. The dams all have fish stairs so the fish can migrate again. Some old meanders are being reconnected to the river. In some places new flood area's are being created, all to stop the water from flowing to rapidly downstream.
Between Retie and Grobbendonk there is a lot of commercial kayaking. You can start in Retie, Kasterlee, Lichtaart or Herentals at the Waterral.
On the banks of the river in Kasterlee you can find the home of the Kastelse Kajak club. A bit further you pas through the backyard of the late Bobbejaan Schoepen a.k.a. Bobbejaanland.
At Grobbendonk the river passes under the Albert channel. On the other side you start to feel the pull of the tide. From here on out the flow direction changes every 4-6 hours. A little way upstream from the city of Lier the Kleine and the Grote Nete join together to form the Nete.