Lääne County was two lakes poorer

The Sutlepa Sea has actually become a lake. Photo: Urmas Lauri

The Ministry of the Environment is updating the list of publicly used water bodies, because the list approved by the government in 2012 no longer corresponds to the current conditions, 28 lakes will disappear from Estonia, two of them – Lake Paslepa and Lake Mäger are located in Lääne County.

According to Hendrik Põldoja, Chief Specialist of the Water Department of the Ministry of the Environment, several water bodies had to be excluded from the list, because in nature they can no longer be distinguished as separate water bodies. “Some of them have become overgrown or swampy today, some have been destroyed due to the rupture or lowering of the dam, but some dam lakes on the river are no longer separable from the river,” said a spokesman for Põldoja. “The list has also been supplemented with those water bodies that were not previously on the list, but which should be publicly available in accordance with the criteria of the Water Act.”

Thus, for example, Lake Lehetu in Harju County and Lake Kuusikjärvi in ​​Hiiumaa, Lake Paslepa and Lake Mäger in Lääne County have been removed from the list.

However, Lake Rummu in Harju County, located in the former quarry area, has been added to the list as a new water body.

The Ministry of the Environment sent a detailed list of publicly used water bodies to the coordination round. The Ministry invites to submit proposals and comments by 9 March.

Paslepa järv. Kaart: maa-amet

Lakes that no longer exist

  • Lake Lehetu (Harju county), Lake Kuusikjärv (Hiiu county), Vasavere Mustjärv (Ida Viru county), Lake Paslepa and Lake Mäger (Lääne county), Nõvajärv (Lääne-Viru county), Lake Sahkri and Lake Rebastemäe (Põlva county), Viltina Roolaht and Lake Raka (Saare County), Lake Pupastvere and Lake Kentsi (Tartu County), Mustjärv (Valga County), Väike Kaugjärv (Võru).

Dam lakes that no longer exist

  • Joaveski dam lake (Harju county), Vendelin mill lake (Jõgeva county), Laastre dam lake and Tuudi dam lake (Lääne county), Arkna dam lake (Lääne Viru county), Kiviküla dam lake and Sahkri dam lake (Põlva county), Maid pärjais lake, Põlva county) dam lake (Tartu county), Sarapuu dam lake (Valga county), Nahkle dam lake and Veski dam lake (Viljandi county) and Seveli dam lake (Võru).

The Uulu canal has been excluded from the list of watercourses, because during the specification of the data it has become clear that this is the lower reaches of the Ura River. The Lidva River, which is not located within the borders of Estonia, is also excluded.

However, the list has been supplemented with those water bodies that were not previously on the list, but which should be publicly available in accordance with the criteria set out in the Water Act.

New bodies of water

  • Lake Rummu in Harju County, Kõpu Pond and Lake Aidu or Kivioja in Jõgeva County, Suur Saarjärv and Väike Saarjärv in Võru County and Lake Kabina in Tartu County, Lake Lokuta Dam Lake in Järva County are located in the former quarry area.

There are currently a total of 657 lakes in Estonia, 207 dam lakes and 499 watercourses, ie rivers, streams and ditches.

It is allowed to bathe, engage in water sports, move on ice, take water and fish in a public water body. The shoreline is also available for public use on such water bodies – to stay by the water body and to move ashore. The width of the shoreline is ten meters for navigable water bodies and four meters for other water bodies.

Source: Ministry of the Environment


There are more than 2,300 lakes with an area of ​​more than one hectare in Estonia. In total, they cover more than 2,100 km2, or approximately 4.8% of Estonia’s area. Most of the total area of ​​the lakes is Lake Peipsi, Lake Võrtsjärv and Narva Reservoir. Only 176 km2 or 8.5% are under small lakes.

Most of Estonia’s natural lakes are continental ice-covered.

The largest lakes in Estonia (according to the Environmental Register, 25.04.2018):

  1. Lake Peipsi-Pskov – 354,307.0 ha
  2. Lake Võrtsjärv – 26,919.1 ha
  3. Narva Reservoir – 10,587.9 ha
  4. Lake Ülemiste – 944.4 ha
  5. Saadjärv – 723.5 ha
  6. Great Bay – 539.5 ha
  7. Vagula Lake – 603.3 ha
  8. Veisjärv – 480.7 ha
  9. Ermistu wolverine – 449.5 ha
  10. Paunküla reservoir – 420.2 ha

The deepest lakes in Estonia (according to the Estonian Nature Information System, 25.04.2018):

  1. Rõuge Suurjärv – 38.0 m
  2. Lake Väiku-Palkna – 31.9 m
  3. Lake Udsu – 30.2 m
  4. Tsolgo Mustjärv – 29.7 m
  5. Uhtjärv – 27.6 m
  6. Valgjärv (Koorküla Valgjärv) – 26.8 m
  7. Lake Kärnjärv (Pindi Kärnjärv) – 26.0 m
  8. Lake Piigandi – 25.3 m
  9. Saadjärv – 25.0 m
  10. Vellavere Village – 25.0 m

Source: Environment Agency

Source: Lääne Elu by online.le.ee.

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