Krasnoyarsk Krai

Lake Taymyr

Lake Taymyr is the northernmost large lake in the world. In Siberia and in Asia in general, it is second in size only to Baikal, and it is located far beyond the Arctic circle, in the climatic zone of tundra and permafrost. The Taymyr has an area of 4,560 km², its width, without counting the bays, is 15–20 km, and its length is up to 190 km.

The lake is located in the centre of the Taymyr Peninsula in a shallow valley on the southern slopes of the Byrranga Mountains. It is connected to the Upper Taymyra and Lower Taymyra Rivers. Actually, the Taymyra is a single river, which is called Upper Taymyra when it flows into Lake Taymyr, and Lower Taymyra when it flows out of it. The lake itself occupies the valley in the middle. In the west, the Taymyr ends with the shallow Ledyanaya boy, and in the east, with Yamu-Nera bay. On the lakeshores, there are several bays and coves.

Site on the map

The average air temperature near Lake Taymyr is 13°С below zero, and the water does not warm up above +8°С. The lake is covered with ice from September to June and is free from ice for only about 73 days. In winter, a large part of Taymyr freezes to the bottom, and the thickness of the main ice layer is about 2 metres. There are no marine mammals or higher plants in the lake, but there is the phytoplankton that fish feed on. Migratory red-breasted geese and common geese nest on the Taymyr's islands.

The harsh climate is not an impediment, but rather contributes to the good fortune that the lake is inhabited by Arctic fish species which are of interest to many fishermen, mainly of the whitefish and salmon families. In total, there are about 20 species here: muksun, whitefish and broad whitefish, vendace, grayling and omul, char and taimen, burbot and perch, and a small population of northern sculpin. Amateur fishing on Lake Taymyr and on the Upper and Lower Taymyr rivers is allowed, but the use of nets and fishing during the spring spawning period are prohibited. Fishing for the endangered sturgeon is also prohibited.

You can catch taimen in the lake and its mountain tributaries, but a license is required. Fishing tours to Taymyr are organised by many Arctic travel agencies, which arrange and provide transportation, accommodation, experienced guides and everything else that tourist may need.

Nevertheless, a trip to Taymyr is a real extreme adventure for true lovers of fishing, which requires preparation and considerable funds.

Despite the shortness of the Taymyr's cold summer, the summer catch can be rich. In summer, you can fish both from a boat and from the banks. August is the best time. The local fishing gear can be quite exotic: for example, fishermen from the indigenous Taymyr peoples use rods with a massive float and a long rig when fishing for grayling, and bird down or deer hair is placed on additional hooks to attract the attention of the fish.