Kuril Lake froze for the first time in four years

Kuril Lake froze for the first time in four years.

13.03.2023

A rare phenomenon is now being observed by our rangers working in the South Kamchatka Federal Reserve.

Over the past decades, the years when the deepest freshwater body of Kamchatka was completely covered with ice were extremely few. Due to the fact that Kuril Lake is located near the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, it is very susceptible to strong winds. This prevents the ice from taking over its entire surface. The last time the lake froze was in 2019, and before that, in 2016 and in 2007. This usually happens in late February — early March, though several times it froze in January. There is no particular cyclicity of this event. It takes several frosty and windless days for the lake to be fully covered with ice.

"According to our observations, the lake surface froze at the end of February, but constant snowfalls prevented us from filming to record this rare phenomenon. As soon as the good weather came, I photographed the frozen lake from a quadcopter. As can be seen in the footage, there are practically no areas with open water," said Liana Varavskaya, ranger in the Kronotsky State Reserve.

Kuril Lake is known for the fact that the largest herd of wild sockeye salmon in Asia comes here for reproduction. Chum salmon, coho salmon, pink salmon, nine-needle and three-needle stickleback also live and spawn in the lake. Sockeye salmon continues to spawn here until the end of winter, even under the ice. For the main part of the future offspring of sockeye salmon, ice formation does not pose any threat.