Grensehistorie Vannkraft Grenseliv


The Pasvik river is rich in fish, and fish have always been important for the people along the river. Whitefish and pike have been an important part of the diet. Net fishing, in summer and winter alike, meant a great deal for all the peoples living in the Pasvik valley. The Pasvik river salmon were already famous in the 1800s, when the first English salmon fishermen made their way north. Salmon weighing over 20 kg were quite common at the Skoltefoss falls. Many enjoy angling today, and you may be lucky enough to land a 10-kg trout or an even bigger pike.

Bilde 1 av 9

Fish as food

Most of the species of fish in the Pasvik river make good eating. Whitefish, pike and perch have been served up on many a dinner table. Some prefer burbot, which is a kind of cod. Salted burbot roe are quite a delicacy. However, perhaps the most popular fish today is the king of the Pasvik river, the trout; although, if one talks to some of the older generation, pike and whitefish are highly regarded. Pike is a useful fish and can be fried as fillets or used to make delicious pike fishcakes. Perch tastes best as crispy fried fillets, or preferably deep-fried.

Perhaps the most important edible fish through the centuries has been the whitefish, which can be used for most kinds of cooking. Poached, lightly salted whitefish is extremely good. Fried or grilled, whitefish is delicious. Cured or salted whitefish is said to be better than both trout and salmon. Should you wish to try the delights of whitefish, cured whitefish can be a good place to start. You will need the following:

  • a nice whitefish, preferably weighing about one kilogramme
  • rock salt
  • a little sugar

Gut and clean the fish and fillet it, but leave the skin on. Scrape off the scales. Place a small handful of rock salt in the bottom of a bowl (and a tiny amount of sugar). Lay the fillet in the bowl with the skin side down. Sprinkle half a handful of salt over it, and a little sugar. Leave the fish to stand for a little less than 24 hours. Rinse the fish, and leave it to rest and dry a little. Cut thin slices of the fish and lay it on brown bread. Top with raw onion slices, slices of whole red pepper and a little sprig of dill. Bon appétit!


Perch is one of the dominant species of fish in the lakes in Pasvik, and perch can be caught weighing up to 1.5 kg! Perch is a predator that eats everything from bottom-dwelling organisms to fish, even other fish of its own species. The food chain of a predator like perch can be complex, and in Vaggatem a perch was caught which had eaten a pike, which in turn had eaten a perch!

Hydropower and fish

The regulation of the Pasvik river for hydro-electric power has destroyed several of the spawning and breeding grounds for trout, which has led to a sharp decline in stocks. To compensate for these negative effects, the power company Pasvik Kraft sets out 5,000 trout in the river every year. In a test fishery done by the Norwegian College of Fisheries Science, the bred trout that were set out in the river accounted for over 80% of trout catches in the lower part of the Pasvik river. The proportion of wild fish was a little higher in the upper part of the river system, which may indicate that the spawning conditions are better there.

The most important edible fish

Whitefish has always been the most important edible fish for the people of Pasvik, but most of them are probably unaware that there are two different kinds of whitefish in the river system. Plankton whitefish live out in the open waters and seldom grow larger than 100 g. Lake whitefish, on the other hand, can grow up to 4 kg. Lake whitefish live in the strand zone, where they feed on bottom-dwelling animals such as insect larvae, snails and molluscs.

Fishing with Aage Beddari.

Vill ørret øverst og utsatt ørret nederst. (Foto: Thomas Bøhn)

Wild trout above and bred trout below. (Photo: Thomas Bøhn)

Roy Uno Mathisen fra Pasvik Kraft setter ut ørret i Pasvikelva. (Foto: Jostein Jacobsen, Sør-Varanger Avis)

Roy Uno Mathisen from Pasvik Kraft setting out trout in the Pasvik river. (Photo: Jostein Jacobsen, Sør-Varanger Avis)

Grensehistorie Vannkraft Grenseliv
Fiske Reindrift Jordbruk Timber! Turliv Ferdsel Gammel og ny tro Kulturelt mangfold Bjørnens rike