Fishing Destinations Developed in Wilderness Tourism

Metsähallitus’ fishing waters across Finland, including lakes, ponds, rapids and streams, offer an experience of nature which is just as important as the catch. Around 80,000 fishermen head to these destinations. Fishermen make a major financial contribution to the local economy. A recreational fisherman spends almost 550 euros during each trip into the wild, spending around two thirds of this in the destination region.

Metsähallitus promoted fishing stock management and recreational fishing in a number of ways in 2016. A new destination search function was introduced to the Erä website for fishing and hunting experiences in Finland. This allows fishermen to search for a municipality or destination at which to fish and suggests suitable fishing destinations on a map or list.

A special project titled Big fishing experiences in northern fishing waters was initiated to develop model destinations for sustainable fishing, where the probability of catching a big fish is higher. This three-year project is building the related concept through fish stocking and fishing arrangements in five areas in Lapland, Northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. Marketing materials are created for the destinations and fishing tourism products developed in cooperation with nature tourism entrepreneurs. The project is being led by Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland, while the University of Eastern Finland Department of Environmental and Life Sciences is responsible for research. The project partners include fishing organisations, landowners’ collectives, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and tourism entrepreneurs.

The project Remove obstacles! is investigating obstacles to the migration of fish in the Iijoki river basin. The estimated hundreds of culverts and bridge structures in the rivers and brooks prevent fish from migrating. During the project, dozens of sites will be restored to facilitate fish migration in the Taivalkoski and Pudasjärvi area. Most environmental problems associated with crossing structures can be avoided through the appropriate route alignment and choice of structures, and their correct installation. One of the project’s aims is to prepare national guidelines for the construction of culverts. The project is funded by the Ministry of the Environment and Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland.

Photo: Jari Ilmonen