The river mouth of Tovdalselva into Topdalsfjorden in Kristiansand.
To the left, the runway of Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik
|Length||143 km (89 mi)|
|Source elevation||1,101 m (3,612 ft)|
|Mouth elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Avg. discharge||65 m3/s (2,300 cu ft/s) at mouth|
|Basin area||1,800 km2 (690 sq mi)|
Tovdalselva or Topdalselva (literally: the Tov valley river) is 143 kilometres (89 mi) long and is one of the longest rivers in Southern Norway. The river flows from the northeast to the southwest and reaches the sea at the Topdalsfjorden between Hamresanden and Kjevik. The upper reaches of the river include many lakes such as the Herefossfjorden and the Straumsfjorden (the largest lake on the river). It drains about 1,800 square kilometres (690 sq mi) in territory and the highest point is 1,101 metres (3,612 ft) above sea level. The drainage basin includes parts or all of the following municipalities: Fyresdal, Valle, Bygland, Evje og Hornnes, Åmli, Froland, Grimstad, Birkenes, Iveland, Lillesand, and Kristiansand.
Tovdalselva was long considered one of the greatest salmon fishing rivers in the land. From 1880-1883 it was Norway's third most productive salmon river calculated both by weight and by value of the salmon caught. This had decreased seriously by the 1900s. By 1970, the salmon fishing in the Tovdalselva was almost completely lost.