The River Pajakkajoki is the confluence of waters originating in Kuhmo’s large lake and river waterways. In terms of water volume, the Pajakkajoki is the largest unharnessed river in Kainuu. The Pajakkajoki is important for migratory trout, and an interesting fishing destination. In order to strengthen its valuable natural fish stock, fishing on the river is developed in line with sustainable fishing. The Pajakkakoski rapid, located near the municipal centre of Kuhmo, is stocked with catchable-size fish, while the rest of the river holds only a natural fish population. Fishing spots on the lower reaches of the river can be accessed from the road leading to Saarikoski rapid.
The Pajakkajoki is divided into two fishing zones. The Pajakkakoski and Saarikoski rapids form a lure fishing area. The Akonkoski rapid, located in the middle section of the river, forms a separate eco-fishing area requiring a separate fishing licence, and where specific eco-fishing rules apply.
AN ECO-FISHING AREA
Akonkoski rapid is located in the middle section of the Pajakkajoki. The unpopulated southern bank can be accessed from the road to Saarikoski rapid. Around two hundred metres of hiking will bring the angler to the bank of the river. A rowing boat is available on the southern bank for those who reserve the Saarikoski rapid for fishing. The northern bank can be reached by leaving cars in the car park on the Saksila road, and then walking past the houses.Saarikoski rapid is short but more than 80 metres wide and relatively calm. The main current of Akonkoski rapid flows along a rock embankment flanking the northern bank. The southern shore is shallow with submerged rocks, and well suited for the wading fly fisher. Potential slicks behind rocks and other lies adjacent to the main current create opportunities for dry-fly fishing.
FISH STOCK AND STOCK MANAGEMENT
The fish population in Akonkoski rapid is managed through regulated fishing. Almost all fish caught in this eco-fishing area are released into the water. The eco-fishing rules make this an interesting fly-fishing area with large fish that are yet difficult to catch. The number of sexually mature fish in the rapids will increase on the strength of eco-fishing, boosting natural reproduction. The wide channel of the Akonkoski rapid creates prime conditions for trout and grayling to grow to substantial sizes. The rapid straddles a fish migration route, and until now has been a well-guarded secret among Kuhmo’s fly fishers.
Akonkoski rapid is also home to research fish, stocked in the hope of gaining data on the effect of enriched rearing on the survival rate of stocked fish. More information on this research project is available at www.ekokosket.fi