Hiitolanjoki River in Rautjärvi, South Karelia, is home to Finland’s last remaining stock of original and fully natural landlocked salmon. Landlocked salmon, the provincial fish of South Karelia, are more attractive to fishing enthusiasts than any other fish species in the inland waters of Finland.
In the summer 2019 agreement has been made that barriers to the upstream movement of migratory fish will be removed. The South Karelian Recreation Area Foundation is acquiring the hydropower plants at Kangaskoski and Ritakoski and corresponding real estate from Hiitolanjoen Voima Oy.
Hiitolanjoki River holds considerable economic potential to the region. In addition to high-quality fishing tourism, the cultural historical values of the area and cross-border cooperation with Russian actors provide a good framework for the development of tourism.
The South Karelian Recreation Area Foundation has developed the Hiitolanjoki River hiking environment since 2004. The diverse natural environment has annually attracted thousands of visitors. The freeing of the rapids will increase the value and attraction of the Hiitolanjoki River recreational areas to a new level. There is no other similar area of free rapids in Southern Finland.