Mountains, lakes, two seas, thousands of rivers – all these are of great interest to tourist worldwide. Practically all kinds of tourism are possible in Murman, except for «beach» ones: sport fishing, hunting, water and mountain tourism, mountaineering, ski mountaineering, kiting, hiking, ski touring, and cycling. One can rest in wild corners of taiga and tundra and on banks of very clean rivers.
The following towns are of interest to tourists: Murmansk – the administrative center of the the region, Monchegorsk – a beautiful modern town; Kirovsk – a center of mining industry; Kandalaksha – one of the most ancient settlements in Murman.
There are historical monuments and museums in Kola, Kirovsk, Pechenga. The geological museum in Kirovsk is well-known. Several ancient labyrinths («babylons») and petroglyphs were discovered on the coasts of the peninsula near the Umba, Ponoy, Kharlovka rivers, and Zakhrebetnyy. Lappish domestic objects, gathered in the Museum of Regional Studies in the village of Lovozero, are of particular interest. In the neighborhood one can see seyds – holy stones of the Lapps.
The main culture monuments of the Russian pomory (White Sea coast dwellers) are on the Terskiy Coast of the White Sea. The Uspeniya (Dormition) Church in Varzuga village is the most famous among them; this church has a tent-like roof, which is characteristic of the Russian northern architecture. The old carved iconostasis is well-preserved.
Water tourism is popular in the Murmanskaya region. Cataracted long beautiful rivers are perfectly suitable for foldboating and kayak boating. While boating one can get experience of passing difficult river parts, going upstream, crossing gravels, saults, winding forest brooks, and visit remote corners of the peninsula. Practically all rivers are suitable for boating. The most popular among them are the Tumcha and the Kutsa.
Headstreams are often near each other, so it is possible to go upstream one river and go downstream another one, zigzagging around the whole peninsula. Water tourism is very good for getting to know the area nature. Reaching by water remote places lying far from civilized areas, one can make one-day radial trips to visit interesting objects.
There are camping sites even in tundra. Fire wood can be easily found along the rivers. Foldboat is the most convenient water-borne vehicle in this area. The most suitable time for such trips is from late July till early September.
The Murmansk Maritime Shipping Company supports the development of arctic tourism in Murmansk. Cruises on nuclear-powered icebreakers to the North Pole area and to Franz Josef Land are organized every year in summer.
The Murmanskaya region is a nice place for people who like the so-called ecological tourism and outdoor recreation. The North dwellers call mushroom gathering «quiet hunting». Habitual gatherers of mushrooms have a large scope for their activities: orange-cap boletuses, small ones round the big one having the size of a wheel, sound cepes, mossiness mushrooms, yellow boletuses, which hide in pinewoods, rough boletuses near sparse trees, and coral milky caps, russules, honey agarics, chanterelles near small bogs. One should not have any special permit to gather berries and mushrooms in the Kola Peninsula (unlike in nearby Scandinavian countries), so the time of mushroom gathering lasts from August till September.
Northern summer is abundant in berries. Bilberries, cowberries, bog bilberries, cranberries, crowberries, and cloudberries are gathered in summer. Gathering of berries begins from late July or early August when bilberries (sometimes reaching the size of cherries) and bog bilberries ripen, cowberries ripen in the middle and late August and they stay longer than other berries after the first autumn frosts. Cranberries and cloudberries are gathered on bogs. Wonderful jam is made of cloudberries, which were once common as an emperor's dish. These berries grow on tussocks, their leaves are similar to those of raspberries or blackberries, ripe berries are bright orange in color.
One more kind of tourism is mineralogical one. Excursions to the most famous mineral deposits of the area are held by famous specialists on mineralogy. Amethyst deposits of the Terskiy Coast, amazon-stones of Zapandyye Keyvy are world-famous; pegmatites of the Kovdorskiy rayon, decorative jaspers, and dolomites of Pechenga are also very popular.
The Murmanskaya region (the historical name Murman) occupies the Kola Peninsula and the part of the continent adjoining to it from the west and the south-west. Nearly the whole territory is situated to the north of the Arctic Circle. From the north and the north-east it is washed by the Barents Sea, from the east and the south – by the White Sea. The area of the Murmanskaya region is 144,900 square km.
The Murmanskaya region borders on two states – Norway and Finland. The Republic of Karelia is in the south.
There are five local administrative units within the region: Kovdorsky, Kol'skiy, Lovozersky, Pechengsky, and Tersky; 6 towns with subordinated areas: Apatity, Kandalaksha, Kirovsk, Monchegorsk, Olenegorsk, Polyarnyye Zori; seven closed territorial entities (access to which is possible strictly by passes): Zaozersk, Severomorsk, Skalistyy, Snezhnogorsk, Polyarnyy, Ostrovnoy, Vidyayevo.
The first settlers appeared in the Kola Peninsula many years ago. The found sites of the Stone Age refer to the 11-7th millennia BC.
The indigenous population of the peninsula – the Lapps – have lived there for more than a thousand years.
The Lapps led a seminomadic way of life, and were occupied with reindeer breeding and fishing. After the October Revolution alien names of nationalities were annulled, and the natives of the peninsula were called Sami, or Saami.
In the 11-13th centuries the Russian pomory opened Murman's lands for themselves. In the 16th century they founded the town of Kola and built the Pechengskiy Monastery. The pomory were people from the Russian North who settled on the coasts and were occupied mainly with fishing. Novgorod citizens reached wild places by light boats called ushkuyki or on foot and founded settlements on the coasts of the White Sea, which they called Studyonoye More («Cold Sea»), and seasonal hunting camps by the Barents Sea. However for a long time the places to the north of Kola were considered to be frightful, the pomory said: 'There are three versts (about 3 km) from Kola to hell'.
At the same time the lands rich in fish attracted the Finns and the Norwegians (whale fishers and shark catchers). The coming of the Russians to the peninsula not only favored the development of the area, but also protected the indigenous population (the Lapps) from invasions of western conquerors. At various times (in 1589-1591, in 1611, in the 18th and the early 19th centuries) Swedish and Danish troops as well as English pirates came to the lands of Murman. They burnt out the settlements, they pillaged the population and monasteries, and killed peaceful citizens. In 1854-1855 during the Crimean War the English fleet burnt Kandalaksha, Strel'na, and Kola.
In the 16-17th centuries the population of the peninsula was occupied mainly with fishing (herring, cod, and Atlantic salmon), sea hunting, salt extraction, fur-bearing animals hunting, and reindeer breeding. In the late 19th century the first forest cutting began on the Terskiy Coast (in 1898 the saw mill in Umba was built).
By the end of the 19th century the population of the peninsula numbered only 9,000 people.
The Murmanskaya region occupies the north-eastern part of the vast Baltic shield, which is made up of ancient crystal rocks more than a billion years old (granites, gneisses, quartzites, schists).
The Khibiny massif is situated in the central part of the peninsula, it is the highest area in the Kola Peninsula, and also the most famous and popular with tourists. Steep slopes, vast cirques, snow covering the depressions and fissures all year round – all these form the grand shape of the low northern mountains. Mountains rise above the surrounding plain abruptly, almost without foothills. The peculiarity of the mountains is their «table» form. The slopes are steep, sometimes precipitous, the heights on the contrary are practically flat.
One can have a wonderful view of the Khibiny from a train just after the Apatity station, and in fair weather the massif can be seen from a distance of tens of kilometers. A chain of low mountains stretches to the west of the Khibiny towards the frontier – the Chunatundra, Monchetundra, Volch'i Tundry, and Sal'nyye Tundry, to the east of the Khibiny – the Lovozerskiye Tundry (about 1,000 m in elevation). This system of high lands forms the Central mountain area. There are groups of low mountains near Kandalaksha (Kolvitskiye Tundry), and in the Pechengskiy rayon.
However, the most part of the territory is flat. The peninsula is conventionally divided into the western and eastern parts. The boundary between them goes along the Voron'ya River valley, Lake Lovozero, Lake Umbozero, and the Umba River valley. The western part is elevated, its main landforms are flat uplands and valleys. Plains prevail in the east, in some places the terrain is very swampy.
To the south of the Central mountain area, from the Finnish frontier to the middle reaches of the Umba River there is also a lowland with vast bogs, numerous lakes, and rare hills. Several times the Kola Peninsula was covered by thick glaciers, which moved from Scandinavia. The last glaciation ended in this area only about ten thousand years ago. While moving the glaciers evened up and polished the stuck-out rocks making their contours mild and round, especially from the side facing the moving glaciers. These smoothed-out rocks are called roches moutonnées, or baran'i lby (the latter is a local term literally meaning «rams’ foreheads»). They can be seen everywhere.
The glacier formed fiords in the north-west of the peninsula. Apparently Kola Bay, Pechengskiy Bay, and Ura-Guba were originally just river valleys. During the glaciations these valleys served as routes of glaciers movement. Glaciers widened and shaped these valleys, and after ice melting the sea filled them, and they became fiords.
Rivers and lakes
Murmanskaya region can compete with the neighboring Karelia in number and beauty of rivers and lakes. Thousands of lakes connected by short channels are scattered among hills. The total area of lakes in the region amounts to 3-5% of the total area.
The biggest lakes kettles as well as river valleys are located in tectonic depressions, faults, and fractures. Such lakes have uneven bottom with significant depths, shallows and islands, steep rocky shores and fairly fanciful shore contours. The number of small lakes is great, there are about 100,000 of them in the region. The rivers in the Murmanskaya region which flow in hard crystal rocks form numerous saults and rapids, their current is very fast. Water in rivers and lakes of the Kola Peninsula is slightly mineralized, i.e. contains very small quantities of mineral salts. Far from the localities it is also rather pure.
Tectonic movements – the interior movements of the Earth crust – is an important factor in the Kola Peninsula. Not only topography and directions of river courses but also general outlines of the peninsula are related to the Earth crust fractures.
One of the largest fractures extends along the northern (Murman) coast. Another one, parallel to it, coincides with the depression of Kandalaksha Inlet. The fracture zone extending from Kola Bay to Kandalakshskaya Guba is rather apparent, the valleys of the Kola and Niva rivers coincide with it. Many other rivers of the Kola Peninsula also use fractures as their valleys. On maps one can see how straight the rivers Kharlovka, Vostochnaya Litsa, Voron'ya, the lower reaches of the Nota, and the Tuloma are. The upper reaches of the Varzuga and Strelna rivers are stretched along the same line. Some rivers (the Varzuga, the Strelna, the Iokanga) change their courses squarely or even acute-angularly. This is also due to the fractures.
The climate of the Murmanskaya region is peculiar and differs from the climate of other polar areas of Russia. This climate is rather mild in spite of the northern location. Perhaps, its most typical features are abrupt changes and weather instability due to frequent changes of air masses.
The climate of the region is formed under the influence of warm and moist air of the Atlantic, which penetrates from the west, and the Arctic air, coming from the north. The air coming from the northern Atlantic brings wet and warm weather in winter and wet and cool weather in summer. The Arctic air, which is cold, clear and dry, brings fall of temperature, but in summer it gets warm very quickly.
The surrounding seas influence the climate both in winter and in summer. In winter the seas make it warmer (especially the ice-free Barents Sea) and in summer cooler. Thus, on the Murman Coast winter temperatures are higher than in Vologda, which is 700 km to the south of it. But this does not mean that the climate is comfort there. It is difficult to endure even light frosts when winds are heavy and humidity is high. Winter is the longest season, it lasts more than six months, approximately from October to April.
The first signs of spring appear long before snow melts. In early spring the whole heat coming from the sun goes to warm air and snow, and only then the rapid snowmelt begins. Snow disappears completely only in May. (On the coasts of the Barents Sea and the White Sea the coming of spring is delayed.) From late May the sun does not set below the horizon. The plants hurry to take advantage from all-day lighting and blossom quickly. Snow still covers the ground in tundra, but the branches of dwarf birches and willows, sticking up from snow, are covered with tender green and throw out aglets.
Summer (a period when temperatures are above 10°C) as well as spring comes in different places of the reigon in different time, depending on the remoteness from the sea. Summer lasts about two or two and a half months, from the mid-June to the mid- or late August. Only July and August have no frost spells. A day is very long, but the sun does not rise high above the horizon. The midnight sun rises only 0.5° at the latitude of Murmansk. In daytime the highest solar altitude is 44°. Summer temperatures are not high: +13°C on the Murman Coast, +8°C in the interior parts of the peninsula, but in some days they can rise up to +30°C.
The most beautiful season in Murmansk is autumn, especially September. After first severe frosts all plants gain different colors, creating fantastically beautiful pictures not only in tundra, but also in forests. Thus, birch leaves become bright gold, while willow leaves become red. The soil cover is more varied in colors. Bilberry leaves become orange, cowberry leaves remain green, lichens become light greenish. Bog blueberries and cloudberries make wet places orange, dwarf cornels make them red.
Temperatures fall very quickly in autumn, and very often the ground is already covered with snow in late October.
In winter the sky in polar regions is often lit up with green, yellowy, sometimes red light. They are northern lights, in the Russian north they are called spolokhi.
In the northern hemisphere the zone of northern lights includes the northern coast of Norway, areas to the north of Murmansk, Novaya Zemlya, Taymyr, Wrangel Island, the northern Alaska, Canada, and the southern part of Greenland. This zone is several hundreds kilometers wide. Such geographical distribution of northern lights is connected with the geomagnetic field.
Northern lights is an electric glow of the upper atmosphere at the heights of 80 to 1,000 km. The glow appears under the influence of electrons and protons emitted by the sun («solar wind»). Electrons play an important role in northern lights.
Getting into the geomagnetic field electrons began to move round the magnetic lines of force. Nearer to the poles, where the lines of force thicken, the electrons are «reverberated» by the magnetic field. Along the same lines of force they return to the upper atmosphere and begin to descend towards the Earth surface in the other hemisphere.
Approaching the Earth near the poles the electrons run into molecules and atoms of atmospheric gases – nitrogen and oxygen – and give them their energy. It happens at the height of approximately 100 km.
These are the very gases, which create visible radiation – the northern lights (similar to the glow of gaseous-discharge lamps).
Molecules of nitrogen brighten blue and purple spectral lines, atoms of oxygen – green and red ones. In fact, every beam of northern lights represents a luminous trace of a torrent of electrons, a sort of photo of the geomagnetic field.
Northern lights occur in every season, but like stars, can be seen only in the dark sky. During the periods of higher solar activity northern lights intensify, and then they can be seen in midlatitudes.
The territory of the Murmanskaya region is situated in two geographical zones – taiga and tundra, between them there is a narrow belt of forest-tundra.
The forest zone occupies slightly less than 80% of the peninsula area. The forests are light there, trees are not higher than 10-12 m. The forests consist of pines, spruces, and birches. The spruce grows mainly in the east and in the north, the pine - in the west and in the south. Both spruce and pine forests occur seldom in pure forms, they usually have some birches.
Lichen pine forests are the most widely spread forests in the Kola Peninsula. They grow on dry and poor soils (sands, stones). The lichen carpet covers from 50 to 90% of the soil surface, dwarf shrubs are represented there by heather, cowberry, and crowberry.
Green moss pine forests grow on rich, moderately humid soils, the ground is covered with green mosses there. The layer of bilberry, bog bilberry, crowberry, and cowberry is well developed there.
Bog moss pine forests are widely spread. They grow in excessively damp places: in depressions, on bog margins. The ground is covered with bog mosses, cloudberry, ledum, and bog bilberry.
Spruce forests prefer moderate humidity conditions and relatively rich soils. Green moss spruce forests with dwarf shrubs are most widely spread. Crowberry, bilberry, and bog bilberry predominate among dwarf shrubs.
Pure birch forests occupy large areas on burnt-over lands and clearings, they grow also near rivers and brooks.
Forest-tundra birch light forests form a narrow (from 20 to 100 km) belt between the zones of tundra and light forests. The height of birches ranges there from 1.5 to 5 m, the trunks are curved, ugly twisted; they resemble fruit trees trunks.
The tundra zone occupies about 20% of the region's territory. It stretches along the coast forming a belt of 20-30 km wide. The crowberry usually predominates on sea coasts. The dwarf birch, crowberry, bilberry, and bearberry grow in the areas where snow protects plants in winter (in depressions, fissures, etc.). In windy areas, where the snow cover is thin, lichens predominate, dwarf shrubs do not thrive there, they are heavily appressed against the ground surface.
Murmansk is world's largest city north of the Arctic circle. It is situated mainly on the eastern shore of the ice-free Kola bay about 50 km from the Barents sea. Administratively the city is divided in three districts - Leninskiy in the north , Oktyabrskiy in the centre and Pervomayskiy in the south.
The main attraction of the city near the sea is the port. A part of it is accessible to visitors. One can see legendary icebreakers there, and in summer go on a 3-hour trip around Kola Bay up to the Sal'nyy Island passing Roslyakovo and Severomorsk on board the passenger motor ship «Klavdiya Yelanskaya». The length of the trip route is 28 nautical miles (nearly 48 km). Zelyoinyy Mys sub-district took its name from the cape (mys) of the same name on the eastern coast of Kola Bay, 3 km to the north of the pre-war Murmansk. There is a monument to an unknown soldier – the memorial «To the Defenders of the Soviet Polar area during the Great Patriotic War» – by Brodskiy on the «Zelyonyy Mys» hill. The hill where «Alyosha» (nickname for the main figure of the memorial) stands commands a panorama of the city.
Lake Semyonovskoye is a recreation area of Murmansk dwellers. It is situated between two streets – Ulitsa Askol'dovtsev and Ulitsa Geroyev-Severomortsev. Regattas are held on the lake, there is the Palace of children creativity «Laplandiya» and an oceanarium on the lake banks.
A memorial in honor of the 85th anniversary of the city was opened near Lake Semyonovskoye in 2002. The memorial includes a symbolic lighthouse-stele 17.5 m high. There is a Memorial Hall in the basement part of the lighthouse, each wall of the hall is devoted to the memory of fishemen who perished at sea in peacetime, to sea transport workers, to military seamen, and to pilots of shipborne aviation. There is also a Memorial Book containing the names of those who did not return from the sea. The lighthouse is well seen from the water area of Kola Bay.
The Marine orthodox Church of the Savior on Waters («Spas na Vodakh»), built on donations of enterprises and citizens, stands nearby. The grand stairs lead to the Cathedral. The panorama view of Murmansk can be seen from the point near the church. The «Arktika» hotel in the form of a trefoil stands in the square called Pyat' Uglov («Five Corners»). There was the first hotel in Murmansk at this place, the new building was erected in 1985.
The first monument in the city – «To the Victims of Foreign intervention of 1918-1920» – is in Leningradskaya Ulitsa (street). It was built on the money of Murmansk dwellers in 1927. It looks like a stylized captain's bridge and tribune. For a long time the monument was really a tribune for meetings in the central square Ploshchad Svobody.
There are a lot of memorial places in the city since World War II. These are: the Monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union Anatoliy Bredov, the Monument to the Soldiers of the 6th Heroic Komsomol Battery (both in Prospekt Lenina), the Monument to the ships of the Northern convoys perished during World War II (in Ulitsa Chelyuskintsev).
For a long time Murmansk was the city without churches. The first church which stood in Ulitsa Yegorova was closed in 1924. Only after the war a small wooden house on the outskirts of the city in Ulitsa Zelyonaya was converted into a church. The wooden Svyato-Nikolskaya (St. Nicholas) Church was open for nearly 40 years. Before the millennium anniversary of the Conversion of Russia the Svyato-Nikolskaya Church got permission for renewal. The walls of a new white stone church were erected around the acting church. Its consecration was on October 1, 1986. The Church of St. Trifon Pechengskiy was built nearby soon, also of white stone (was consecrated on October 19, 1989). Both churches form the complex of the Svyato-Nikolskiy (St. Nicholas) Cathedral.
The International Festival of snow and ice sculptures «Severnaya Fantaziya» («Northern Fantasy») is held annually in Murmansk after the 20th of January (since 1999). The prizes are awarded in two nominations: «Ice Sculpture» and «Snow Sculpture». Dolina Uyuta («Cozy Valley») is a famous resting place of citizens. Being broad and flat and closed by hills from all sides it allows to make ski routes every winter. The main sports event in the Kola Peninsula – the North Festival – is held there. There are the sports complex «Yunost' Rossii», ski depot and ski jumps.
Activities and sport facilities
Downhill skiing on the Kola Peninsula
The central part of the Kola Peninsula is known as an area of winter trips (the heights of Chunatundra, Monchetundra, Volchi Tundry, Salnyye Tundry, and Tuadashtundra) and outdoor recreation. It has got fame as a cheap and interesting ski mountaineering resort in Russia. Three ski mountaineering areas are just about the same latitude. The most famous of them is on the mountain slopes of the Khibiny massif in the neighborhood of the town of Kirovsk.
The other two are less known. These are Monchegorsk and Kandalaksha ski mountaineering areas which lie to the west and to the south of the Khibiny, respectively. Besides that, there are some amateur downhills in the neighborhood of Murmansk.
The earliest and the latest snow cover in Russia assure a long sport season for people who decided to go skiing on the mountain slopes of Murman. March and April is the best time for ski mountaineering. The polar night ends, and the weather is bright and sunny. It is very warm in daytime. But as everywhere in spring the danger of an avalanche increases. The period from December till March is the time of polar night. Ski mountaineering time is narrowed by a short daylight (from 3 to 5 hours).
The Kola Peninsula waters is a paradise for a fisherman. The perch, pike, roach, whitefish, Atlantic salmon, brown trout, brook trout, loach, lake char, burbot are common in thousands of rivers and lakes. Salmons are the most popular with fishermen, especially the Atlantic salmon, anadromous brown trout, lake trout, and brook trout. Fishing of «anadromous» fishes is allowed as a rule during the spawning because at that time they are accessible for amateur methods of fishing.
Fishing is allowed free everywhere, excluding the rivers (with their transitional lakes) peopled with Atlantic salmon, as well as fishing grounds, fish reserves, fish nurseries, and fish farms.
Licence fishing of Atlantic salmon is allowed from June, 15 till September, 15. Licences are issued by fish protection inspectors, a 6-hour licence costs 120 roubles. After catching a fish the licence expires, and it is necessary to buy a new one.
There are 17 bases for foreign and Russian tourists in the region; they are situated in the mouths of spawning rivers and are equipped with all necessary things for fishing tours. More than 1,500 foreign tourists from 38 countries visit the Kola Peninsula every year to fish Atlantic salmon by the method called nakhlyst. They are attracted by rich water bodies of the Kola Peninsula, drive from the oncoming fighting with a real rival, and they are ready to pay more than $3,000 for a week-long tour. All over the world the salmon fishing by nakhlyst is considered to be a serious test for sport fishing lovers because a catch is a big and strong fish. Fly fishing requires skills, knowing of Atlantic salmon traits, the ability to feel the «main» stream, and of course, the skill to throw baits.
From the fisherman's point of view the rivers in different parts of the Kola Peninsula differ greatly from each other. Thus, rivers in the southern and central parts are long with a small stream gradient, a lot of salmons weighing from 2 to 4 kg (that have spend a year in the sea) people them. The salmons are not big because there are no waterfalls or serious rapids in these places, the length of these rivers determines the necessity to survive in the periods of low water, it makes the population of autumn Atlantic salmon pass one part of their migration route in autumn, then stop and continue their way in spring during the spring flood. The rivers of the northern coast resemble those of Norway: they are shorter, with big gradients, have waterfalls and rapids. That is why they are peopled with big and strong salmons weighing from 8 to 12 kg. To catch such fish one must have good fishing gear and skill.
Salmons come to rivers at different time. Most part of its life this fish spends near the Faeroe Islands, between Norway and Iceland. Back migration to the western rivers (the Kola, the Zapadnaya Litsa, and the Ura) begins in late May, while to the eastern rivers (the Varzina and the Iokan'ga) in late June. The Atlantic salmon comes to the Kharlovka and Rynda rivers in the middle of June.
The Varzuga, Ponoy, Umba, and Olenitsa rivers have become the most famous for the nakhlyst fishing. The Varzuga is considered to be the most rich in fish among the rivers of the Terskiy Coast of the Kola Peninsula. For the beginners it is the best way to try themselves in salmon fishing: nobody has yet gone away from there without fish. The Umba is one of the most interesting rivers of the Kola Peninsula, it flows far from settlements and big towns, here one can enjoy fishing in wilderness in an ecologically clean area. The Umba is famous for its big salmons, there is less fish there than in the Varzuga or the Ponoy but the Umba is more accessible. It is one of those few salmon rivers of the Kola Peninsula where one can get without using a helicopter. The paved road leads to the settlement of Umba, it is about 100 km far from Kandalaksha. The Umba flows out of Lake Umbozero and mouths into the White Sea. Lakes, deeps, rapids, and rushes alternate in the 80-km course of the river. In the upper reaches of the river the forest along its banks is not high, like in forest-tundra, you feel that the mountains are near. High fir trees and pine forests appear closer to the White Sea where the climate is more like the one in Karelia. The biggest rapids are in the lower reaches of the river. The Atlantic salmon, pike, brook trout, brown trout, whitefish, grayling, lake perch are to be found in the river there. And the Atlantic salmon comes to the rivers of the Terskiy Coast from the White Sea all year round. The Olenitsa River (which is 55 km long) abounds in rapids, saults, and deeps. This area has a lot of lakes, rivers, and brooks where the fishing of loach, brown trout, and brook trout is allowed. The Atlantic salmon is spinned or caught by the method of nakhlyst with the use of artificial flies as baits. In the catch dominate individuals weighing from 3 to 5 kg, some individuals reach up 8–14 kg; this requires a good sportsmanship. In the north of the Kola Peninsula the Pecha River is popular with fishers; it flows into the Tuloma River not far downstream of the dam of the Verkhnetulomskoye Reservoir. The Atlantic salmon population numbers about 5,000 fish nowadays. The Federal Fish Protection Service has allowed fishing on the Pecha River for several years. The Ponoy River is 426 km long, it is a beautiful winding river populated with the Atlantic salmon, there are a lot of ducks on its banks; muskrats are common.