The Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland decided to grant a water management permit for the Raasakka fishway in Iijoki. The decision is significant for the work to revive stocks of migratory fish in the Iijoki river.
“This is an important and positive decision, which makes it possible to continue cooperation,” says Mirko Laakkonen, project manager in the Iijoki river migratory fish project in 2020–2022.
“We are pleased that the Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland decided to grant a permit for the Raasakka fishway. Extensive, long-term cooperation based on volunteer work will contribute to reviving migratory fish in the Iijoki river. There is a threat that possible appeals will postpone the start of the building process,” says Jani Pulli, managing director of PVO-Vesivoima Oy.
“It’s good that we can now start building fishways. The lowest fishway and the experiences gained from it provide very important information for designing the next fishways,” says Erkki Turtinen, game and fisheries manager at Metsähallitus.
The first fishway of the southern part of the Iijoki river is intended to be built at the Raasakka power plant as part of the Iijoki migratory fish spearhead project and the Iijoen otva project. The best experts in Finland have designed the fishway, which utilises smart solutions. The catching equipment intended to be built in conjunction with the fishway will make it possible to transfer salmon and sea trout to the breeding areas upstream in the Iijoki river.
The best result for the fish will be achieved by taking gradual steps forward and using many different tools. The aim is to build a fish passage, based on the best techniques currently available, at the downstream power plant on the Iijoki river, and then build a downstream migration solution at the upstream plant. Lessons learnt from this project can be used at other power plants.
On 2 March 2017, PVO-Vesivoima Oy and Metsähallitus, a state-owned enterprise responsible for managing state-owned land and water areas in Finland, filed an application for a water management permit to build fishways for the Raasakka power plant and control dam. In its decision on 14 December 2020, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland granted a permit to build fishways for both Raasakka dams in compliance with the Water Act.
The Iijoki river migratory fish project in 2020–2022 promotes the building of the Raasakka fishway. The project is managed by the Council of Oulu Region. The migratory fish project is implemented by PVO-Vesivoima Oy, the Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre), the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, Ii, Oulu, Pudasjärvi, Taivalkoski, Kuusamo, the Council of Oulu Region, Iijoen Vesistön Kalastusalue (the Iijoki Waters Fishing Region), Metsähallitus, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia and the Natural Resources Institute Finland. The project is funded by the migratory fish programme NOUSU by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland. The project includes building a downstream migration fishway for smolt and catching equipment in Haapakoski, monitoring and transferring Atlantic salmon and sea trout, as well as planting fry.
Mirko Laakkonen, project manager, Iijoki river migratory fish project in 2020–2022, Council of Oulu Region, tel. +358 40 685 4036, mirko.laakkonen(at)pohjois-pohjanmaa.fi
Jani Pulli, Managing Director, PVO-Vesivoima Oy, tel. +358 50 386 2680, jani.pulli(at)pvo.fi
Erkki Turtinen, game and fisheries manager, Metsähallitus, tel. +358 400 285 383, erkki.turtinen(at)metsa.fi