Lake Ontojoki drains the large waterways in the Kuhmo area into the lakes of Sotkamo. The river once had a series of fantastic rapids which now drive the Katerma and Kallioinen hydro-electric power plants. Between the two power plants flows a stretch of river with voluminous currents, nearly ten kilometres in length. The populated areas are concentrated some distance away in the village of Ontojoki, the river flowing through forest for its entire length.
The Ontojoki is a large, interesting river for the angler. With no proper rapid along its course, the river forms a wide expanse of water well suited for trolling and casting. As a fishing ground it compares with the Kajaaninjoki and the Tammerkoski rapid, but with banks free of human habitation. Currents in the narrow sections along the upper reaches are strong. Halfway down, the channel widens out, with the currents becoming milder as the river approaches the Kallioinen power plant.
Those anglers who prefer to fish from the bank will find the best spots below the Katerma power plant. At a point called Kypäräisenniemi, the river has the character of a rapid, while upstream, fish find holding water behind the old boulders on the stream bed. The Karppasenlampi pool is also wadable from the southern bank. Here the fly fisher may catch whitefish and grayling on a good day.The River Ontojoki is especially recommended for trolling and casting from the boat. Boats can be launched from a concrete boat ramp beside the Kallioinen power plant or below the Katerma plant.
The Ontojoki lure fishing licence covers the stretch of river located between the power plants. Fishing is prohibited in the upper channel of the Katerma power plant. Permissible methods for fishing under the lure fishing licence are lure fishing, trolling and fly fishing.
Fish stock and stock management
The Ontojoki is a large river located between lakes, with plentiful food for fish. Strong currents carry vendace, smelt and aquatic insects from Lake Ontojärvi into the river. Because the Ontojoki’s water has good quality, fish have excellent conditions in which to grow. Predatory fish from the waterways in the Kuhmo area find their way along the same route into to river, to prey there on its plentiful food supply. As a result, the Ontojoki holds trout, zander, pike, perch and a healthy grayling population, all of which prey on the river’s smaller fish.
The Sotkamo fishing region also stocks the river regularly with catchable-size salmonoids. Thanks to stocking, the most common catch on the Ontojoki are rainbow trout in excess of one kilo. Fish beginning to rise on summer evenings brings evidence of the large number of fish the river holds.