Swamps at Lake Kiantajärvi

Lakeshore restorations of floodplain at Lake Kiantajärvi

The aim of the project is to strengthen the biodiversity and recreational uses of Lake Juntusjärvi and Kulmajärvi`s floodplain -areas created from the regulation of the water system, as well as to attract more birds to the observation areas and improve fish spawning areas.

The floodplain areas of Lakes Juntusjärvi and Kulmajärvi in the municipality of Suomussalmi were created from water-level fluctuations caused by the regulation of the lake. The lakes are a part of Lake Kiantajärvi, which has an annual water level variation of 3.3 m on average. 

the 40 kilometer-long main body of Lake Kiantajärvi attracts and directs the spring migration of birds to the floodplain areas. The shallow shoreline of Lake Kiantajärvi forms an important resting and feeding area for many Passeriformes, waders and waterfowl species during the migration. A total of 105 bird species have been reported at the site, 95 of the species during the breeding season..  

Project enhances  floodplain biodiversity 


The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Kainuu (ELY Centre), the municipality of Suomussalmi and Fortum carried out restorations of the floodplains at Lake Juntusjärvi in 2012 and 2013, and at Lake Kulmajärvi in 2015. The aim of the restorations was to enhance the biodiversity and to facilitate the recreational use of the floodplain areas. Excavating work was performed in low water and the overall impacts to the water system were minimised. 

Canals and small ponds were dug into the floodplains to form diverse shelter areas and lots of fragmented shoreline. This improves the breeding of waterfowl species and creates feeding and resting areas during periods of migration and moulting. Fish spawning areas also were improved, and this is particularly beneficial for pike, perch and roach. The two new bird-watching tower built by the ELY Centre of Kainuu are well positioned for an expansive view of the water and floodplain areas.

The costs of the restorations were shared by Fortum Power and Heat Oy, which is responsible for the regulation of Kiantajärvi, the municipality of Suomussalmi and the ELY Centre of Kainuu. The works were carried out by the ELY Centre of Kainuu. The project was finished inn 2015.