Restoration of Kuusinki River in Kuusamo
Kuusinki Kuntoon ry (”Free Kuusinki” registered association) has started a project in order to restore Kuusinki river and facilitate the run of brown trouts further 50 km up the river free from artificial obstacles.
The plan of the association is to purchase and shut down the Myllykoski hydropower plant owned by Koskivoima oy and to free the water flow around the plant. The project would by and large restore natural water flow in Kuusinki river.
There are three different wild species of brown trout in broader Oulanka river, part of which Kuusinki river is. Brown trout of Kuusinki, however, is particularly famous and desired by many anglers. The viability of Kuusinki brown trout has weakened a lot over last 30 years and the trout is currently classified as especially endangered species.
Restoration of Kuusinki river would be wellcome in many respects: biodiversity of species, environmental improvement, recreational fishing and tourism.
The project seems to have strong local support and it is also well in line with national public environmental targets.
The Association is naturally working closely together with local and central authorities.
Since 2010 there have been a few comparable projects in Finland (Hiitola river in Rautjärvi, Saramo river in Nurmes, Kirakkokoski in Inari) with the same approach of shutting down hydropower plants in order to improve environmental conditions of endangered fish species.