The dispersal patterns of marked larvae of the nase carp (Chondrostoma nasus L.) were observed alongside dissimilar shoreline configurations in the main channel of the free-flowing Austrian Danube and compared with those of floating particles to investigate the mode of dispersal (active-passive). Individuals of different larval stages and floats at similar densities were released at an artificial rip-rap with groynes and a rehabilitated gravel bar. In both habitats, marked individuals were recaptured during the sampling period of 4 d after release. Relevant shoreline attributes for larval dispersal, such as the accessibility of nursery habitats, connectivity between adjacent habitats, and retention potential, were more pronounced at the gravel bar than at the rip-rap. At the gravel bar, larvae moved upstream and downstream within the connected bankside nurseries and displayed longer residence times. Larvae settled in groyne fields along the rip-rap as well; however, longitudinal dispersal was disrupted by groynes, forcing larvae to enter the main channel. Rather than settling in subsequent groyne fields, we assume that these larvae are displaced downstream and potentially lost from the local population.