During the last six decades, the memorable catches of salmon and king salmon have existed only in the story traditions of Savukoski. Now these stories will continue further since salmon are being returned back to their natural spawning grounds.
Migration of salmon from the Gulf of Bothnia to the spawning grounds of the Ylä-Kemijoki river ended in 1948, when building of the Isohaara power station commenced. Finland’s industrialisation increased the demand for electricity and this resulted in a huge change in riverside life. Damming of the river and its regulation gradually resulted in the stocks of migratory fish disappearing from the upper waters. Attempts have been made to improve the situation by obligatory restocking. This has not, however, produced lasting results.
There is some hope for the future of the migrating fish over a long-term period by building fishways alongside power stations. This means, however, challenging work during the decades before the first kype reaches the upper parts of the Kemijoki river. That is why we have decided to commence the relocation of salmon from the Gulf of Bothnia as well as discharging sea salmon into its original habitat.
Relocation of salmon is administered in accordance with the national fishing strategy of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. This method has resulted in good experiences, e.g. from the Ounasjoki river 2010−11. The long-term aim is to achieve a permanent and fertile salmon population in the upper river systems.
In practice, the relocation means catching salmon from the mouth of the river, checking and labelling them, and transferring them by car, past the power stations, directly into the target rapids. This kind of transport is fast and these selected individuals, weighing an average of 8kg, will be released into the rapids in good condition.
A field study, with its scientific methods and analysis, forms the basis of this project. Hydrological studies, exploration and veterinary checks ensure that the fish in the target region remain healthy and that the transferable individuals are in good condition throughout the whole process. Tagging fish and selective use of radio transmitters provides long-term follow-up data which will be utilised in the future relocations and care of fishing waters.
Companies, organisations and individuals of Savukoski and its surrounding regions participate in and support our fishing tourism project. Also relocation of fish is widely supported by people living in the region, as well as by fishing enthusiasts. Sea salmon is still present in the fishing stories of the region and its return has been waited for such a long time. It is expected that sea salmon will enrich fishing tourism, local life and people’s livelihood in many ways within the region.
The Registered Association of the Savukoski Fishermen (Kalastajan Savukoski ry) is responsible for the relocation and discharge of fish. In spring 2014, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Lapland granted permission for the relocation of salmon and trout from the mouth of the Kemijoki river into the Savukoski, Miekkakoski and Pahtakoski rapids within the region of the municipality of Savukoski.
One of the most important cornerstones in the activities of the association is that companies and individuals engage in activities on behalf of migratory fish. There are already over 200 trout that are sponsored in the virtual rapids that are maintained by it. Several international companies, together with a wide number of local companies, act as fish sponsors.
A sponsored salmon of your own is an impressive and long-term eco-statement, of which the whole company staff can be proud. Welcome to our online store that now offers over one hundred impressive sea salmon!