Semyachiksky Liman (Lagoon)

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The Semyachiksky Liman is situated on the southern border of the Reserve. It covers an area is 780 ha. In summer, the waters of the large shallow lagoon grow warm. The lagoon formed as a result of a combination of process from the sea (Kronotsky Bay) and rivers and brooks (Novy Semyachik, Stary Semyachik, Barmotina, Domashny, Pikhtovy and others). During low tide, numerous shallows appear, offering rich feeding grounds for marsh birds.

The lagoon is fed by numerous hot springs, which are clearly visible during tidal flows. During low tide, numerous shallows appear, offering rich feeding grounds for marsh birds. The marshy banks of the lagoon are suitable for nesting for as many as 150 pairs of Aleutian tern, as well as common terns, gulls, and hundreds of ducks of different species, curlews, and another marsh birds. Up to 1,200 ducks, geese, and swans winter in the lagoon. Each spring 10,000 birds use the area to rest during migration, and 15,000 birds come through here in the fall. Large flocks of migrating sandpipers and gulls spend time on the long Semyachikskaya Spit.

Moderate temperatures and the non-aggressive chemical composition of thermal waters deposited in the northern part of the lagoon contributed to the formation of remarkable biological communities. In winter, these areas are free of ice and always attract birds for wintering, such as the protected whooper swans and solitary snipes. Wintering ducks, mainly mallards, stay here year round and breed earlier than normal. Populations of insects and mollusks are active along the lagoon’s shores year round. Juvenile salmon feed in the warm Tyoply Brook and are found to be more viable than fingerlings from other brooks.

Semyachiksky Liman is included into the List of the Wetlands of special national importance. The reserve has designated Semyachiksky Liman as an area with significant scientific value.

The lagoon and neighboring Novy Semyachik River are migration routes for Pacific salmon, white-spotted char (kundzha) and Doly Varden, which in turn attract fish-eating birds, bears, and other predators. Sticklebacks, smelt, and navaga are also found here. The area around the lagoon has a high density of Steller’s sea eagle nests, and its banks are traditional denning sites for red foxes.

The mouth of the lagoon during fall and winter hosts one of the largest populations of larga seal. Ribbon seal, ringed seal, bearded seal, and Steller’s seal are also found here sometimes.

Did You Know

The Valley of the Geysers, like a few other unique natural landscapes, was not even known at the time of the Reserve's establishment in 1934