Year of the Salmon 2019


The International Year of the Salmon ( IYS) is a project launched by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) and other interested partners. The project aims to raise awareness about the conservation of salmon habitats and to highlight actions and research focused on the sustainable use of salmon.

NASCO has asked the governments of as many countries in the northern hemisphere as possible to participate in the project, and Finland is among the countries taking action to support it.

The International Year of the Salmon could be seen in Finland for the first time in November 2018, when the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry published Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä’s video greeting in honour of the upcoming thematic year.

Watch Minister Jari Leppä’s video greeting in honour of the Year of the Salmon (in finnish)

Salmon in Finland

Finland’s border with Sweden boasts two of the best salmon rivers in the world: the River Tenojoki, which flows the Atlantic, and the River Tornionjoki, which flows into the Baltic Sea.  In addition to the Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, landlocked freshwater salmon inhabit Lake Saimaa and the River Hiitolanjoki. One of the biggest salmon success stories is the recovery of the River Tornionjoki salmon stock from a very weak status to one of the strongest Atlantic salmon populations in the world.

In Finland, the management and use of salmon stocks is guided by the salmon and sea trout strategy (in Finnish) , while the endangered landlocked salmon of Lake Saimaa has its own landlocked Atlantic salmon strategy (in Finnish) . There is also a National Fish Passage Strategy in place to improve the migration conditions of rivers.

To improve the living conditions of salmon, focus is placed on harnessed river systems, where barriers to migration are being removed and solutions sought to circumvent dams. Measures are also being taken to restore river habitats and improve spawning sites.

More information about salmon stocks in Finland (

Monitoring salmon runs with echo sounders

The Natural Resources Institute uses echo sounders to monitor salmon ascending to the most important rivers from the end of May through the end of August. Information on the numbers of salmon ascending to rivers to spawn and the timing of their spawning run provides an invaluable basis for population management and fishing regulation.

During the migration period, information on the number of salmon is updated on the website nearly every day. More detailed information on monitoring salmon runs with echo sounders is available here:

Rivers Tornionjoki and Simojoki: 
River Tenojoki: 

Year of the Salmon events in Finland

  • 17 May 2019 at 10–15, Utsjoen kunnantalo, Luossatie 1, 99980 Utsjoki:
    Annual Tenoinfo discussion event organised by the Utsjoki fisheries area focusing on salmon research, fishing arrangements and fishing supervision in the River Tenojoki. The event brings together operators from partners to jointly owned areas, the state-owned forest enterprise Metsähallitus, fisheries management, the Natural Resources Institute, the police and the Border Guard. Entrance is free.
  • 10 June 2019, Tornionjoki, Lappea: International mini-seminar on Atlantic salmon focusing on the state of salmon populations and salmon research in the Baltic Sea and both coasts of the Atlantic 
  • 30 August 2019 Luonnon kirjo events along salmon migration routes (locations to be confirmed)