Lake Mjosa is the largest lake in Norway and is located in the Gudbrands Vally in the southeastern part of the border, crossing the counties of Oppland and Hedmark. The lake provides fresh water to many towns along the coast, and large lakeside cities include Lillehamel (north), Gjovik(west), Hamar (east), etc.
It is long and narrow, with a rough north-northwest to south-southeast axis, and is a link between the Lagen River to the north and the Vorma-Glomma river system to the south. The Lagan River flows into Lake Mjosa, and the lake flows into the Glomma River through the 40-kilometer-long Vorma River.
The Helgoya Island sits in the center of the lake, part of a thriving tourist area with yachting and fishing. The lake is home to various fish, including pike, grayling, lake carp, European perch, brown trout, and whitefish. This lake area is one of the Norwegians' favorite outdoor destinations.
Lake Mjosa Introduction
Lake Mjosa, the largest lake in Norway, is a typical Norwegian fjord lake. Large parts of the catchment area consist of mountainous regions with gabbroic and granitic bedrock. Around the central zone of the lake, there are sedimentary and metamorphic rocks of cambro- the Silurian age and some calcareous rock types. This district is one of Norway's best agricultural areas. In the mountain regions, there are many glaciers, and the main tributary, River Gudbrandsdalslagen, carries a heavy silt load from the glacier area during the summer. Approximately 75% of the water mass in Mjosa flow through the River Gudbrandsdalslagen, which drains a region dominated by high mountains and glaciers. This tributary has been regulated for hydroelectric power generation.
Lake Mjosa Size
Lake Mjosa lies well below the highest post-glacial marine limit, which is 200 meters above sea level in this area. It has a surface area of 369 sq km (142 sq mi) with a maximum length of 117 km (73 miles) and a maximum width of 15 km (9.3 mi). Its maximum depth is 449 meters (1,473 ft), with a mean depth of 153 meters (502 ft). The shoreline measures about 273 km (170 mi) long.
The melting of snow and ice in the mountains during summer causes a high flow, especially heavy during warm and rainy weather. Approximately 60% of the annual water flow occurs between June and August. Lake Mjosa is used as a reservoir for hydroelectric power generation. Water is drawn from the lake during winter (November-April), and the lake is refilled during the spring flood from May to June. The vernal circulation period normally lasts from the latter half of April to the end of June, while the autumnal circulation down to approximately 200 meters lasts from October to January/February. The deep water temperature always ranges between 3.5 and 3.7deg C. The central zones of Lake Mjosa are often ice-free during the winter.
Lake Mjosa's most impressive feature is its rich stocks of top-quality fish. There are 20 species in total. The most famous and most coveted by anglers is the large Mjøsa trout, which can grow as big as 15 kilos. In early summer, trolling for big trout is extremely popular. The trout spawn in many of Mjøsa's tributaries and grow big in the lake. The lake also offers a clean and vast habitat for pike, perch, burbot, grayling, and other fish species.
Lake Mjosa is a natural venue for a trolling battle between anglers. The Norwegian trolling championship takes place in June, starting from Gjøovik harbor. Fishing with a rod and line is permitted all year round. Trolling is only permitted between 1 May and 31 August and between 1 October and 31 December. Please keep in mind that fishing periods are different for different regions. Ice fishing with ice rods or hand lines with lure, rods, fly, or bait is permitted as long as lake Mjpsa is frozen in winter.