The water system of the River Luvanjoki flows into the River Emäjoki from the east. With a length of more than 50 kilometres, this waterway has its origin near the Russian border, with the waters flowing through a series of lakes — Mikitänjärvi, Luvanjärvi, Nuottijärvi and Salmijärvi — and several rivers and rapids. The most well-known rapid is the steep and beautiful Luvankoski. Similar in character are the Kynänkoski and Nuottikoski rapids. White-water anglers will find many interesting small forest streams running into the River Mitikänjoki. The Nuottikoski rapid lies in the water area of the Salmi fishing association, while the Kynäkoski rapids are an eco-fishing area. The upper reaches of this waterway, located upstream from the Luvankoski rapid, form a fishing licence area governed by the Moisio-Luva fishing association.
AN ECO-FISHING AREA
The Kynäkoski rapids are a well-known fishing destination in the province, renowned for the efforts taken there to restore the natural fish stock. Fishing is only permitted using barbless flies and in compliance with the eco-fishing rules.
Downstream from Lake Niemelänjärvi lie the Kynäkoski rapids, measuring approximately half a kilometre in length. On the Hyrynsalmi – Kuhmo road (904), around 12 kilometres from Hyrynsalmi, signs will direct anglers to another road called Laitalantie, and from there to a car park. A 300-metre-long footpath leads from the car park to a lean-to. The Kynäkoski rapids, a stretch of the river more than half a kilometre in length, interconnect two lakes. These rapids flow undisturbed through the forest. At the head of the rapids, an island splits the river into two widely separated white-water channels, with the bulk of the water in the northern half. Both run down to an intermediate pool of around a hundred metres in length. Beyond this pool is the start of the unbroken Ala-Kynäkoski rapid, tumultous and boulder-strewn, flowing in a curve into Lake Koirajärvi. On the bank of the lower rapid lies a lean-to, built for use by anglers. The most coveted catch on the Kynäkoski rapids is trout, which in these waters may grow to be fine specimens of the species. The Kynäkoski rapids, lying midway along the Luva main water system, are therefore centrally located along the trout’s migratory path.
Fish stock and stock management
Fish stock management is based on fishing arrangements. Around the late 1990s, an eco-rapid area was established on the Kynäkoski rapids, aimed at restoring a natural fish stock. Thanks to new fishing regulations, introduced to protect the fish stock in these rapids, along with the responsible fishing practices of fly fishers, Kynäkoski now is a special fishing destination, renowned for its large trout. Many anglers on the Kynäkoski waters have had the opportunity to play the largest wild trout they have ever seen. The goal is that trout and grayling occurring in these rapids will have a chance to grow to at least a spawning size. Parallel to this, the natural, migratory fish stock in the entire river and lake system will be replenished.
A modified set of catch-and-release rules is applied to fly fishing on the Kynäkoski rapids. The use of barbless hooks is mandatory, with almost all caught trout and grayling released and returned to the water, allowing them to grow and reproduce. However, to honour the local fishing tradition and to give anglers a chance to retain their bragging rights, they are allowed to take home one fish. If they wish, anglers may take either one trout or one grayling that meets the special statutory minimum size, 60cm for trout and 45cm for grayling. Most anglers, though, release the fish that meet the above measurements. ‘Eco fish’ may not be the only catch, with fish being hooked from other than the natural fish population: the popular rapids along the Luva waterway system are stocked on a regular basis with catchable-sized salmonoids. In addition, a research project under the supervision of the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute has been under way on the Kynäkoski rapids since 2012, aimed at gaining data on the effect of enriched rearing on stocked fish; to this end, the rapids are stocked with specifically marked research fish of varying sizes. Anglers contribute to the gathering of data by identifying marked fish among their catch. Pike, also a common catch, is recommended to be removed from the fish population of the rapids. However, each caught pike should be handled in a respectful and ethical manner.