Many salmon rivers in Northern Norway will open on June 1st. But because of the late spring this year, many of the rivers are still covered with half a meter of thick ice. The picture above clearly shows that, as it was taken just yesterday at Repparfjordelva in Finnmark.
Knut Altmann, leader of Hunters and Fishers Association in Western Finnmark, the group in charge of sports fishing in Repparfjordelva, says that ice smelting in the area is long overdue. -Ice has normally disappeared much earlier than this year, Altmann says to local newspaper iFinnmark. -I remember we had a similar situation a few years back though, but then warm weather finaly came in the end of May. All the snow and ice smelted quickly and just in time before June 1st. -But after looking at the latest weather forecast, I don’t think that will happen this year. -But still, we don’t want the summer heat to come all in a sudden, causing flooding and brutal ice crunching. That will kill a lot of the juvenile fish currently living in the river under the ice, Altmann says.
But luckily, not all the salmon rivers are still covered with ice. Altaelva, the famous river of Alta, flows in a more controlled environment, where the power station lets out cold water from the upper layers until April 1st. After April 1st, they let out both more water and warmer water from the lower levels of the lake above the station. This way, the smelting and flow of ice down the river can happen more controlled and not causing any harm to the juvenile fish. This also makes the river ready for the big salmons which are probably already waiting in the fjords outside Alta.