History and current situation

The landlocked salmon is a type of the Atlantic salmon, locked in fresh water after the most recent ice age. There are two landlocked salmon populations in Finland, one in Lake Saimaa and one in Lake Pielinen. Our landlocked salmon populations have been isolated from other salmon populations for a very long time. That is why Finnish landlocked salmon are genetically unique.

Human actions, particularly the construction of power plants, blocked the natural life cycle and reproduction of landlocked salmon in Lake Saimaa in the 1950s. The landlocked salmon population in Lake Pielinen perished completely in the 1970s.

The fish nursery industry, based on the roe of brood fish caught in the wild, saved the landlocked salmon from extinction. Fish farm brood fish stocks also helped to restore the landlocked salmon population in Lake Pielinen.

Landlocked salmon populations are currently being maintained through continuous stocking. The biggest threats to the survival of the landlocked salmon are the low number of brood fish swimming to the upper reaches of rivers to spawn and the consequent genetic deterioration.

Rapids in former breeding grounds are constantly being revitalised so as to restore the natural life cycle of the fish. Pielisjoki River and Lieksanjoki River are some of the other key targets of the Finnish Fish Passage Strategy.



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The project is co-financed by the LIFE+ -programme (EC)