Pyhäjoki (river)

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Etelänkylän isosilta Pyhäjoki 20120516c.JPG
Etelänkylän isosilta bridge over the Pyhäjoki at Pyhäjoki
Country Finland
Physical characteristics
Main source Lake Pyhäjärvi
63°43′37.2″N 25°58′12″E / 63.727000°N 25.97000°E / 63.727000; 25.97000
River mouth Gulf of Bothnia
64°29′2.4″N 24°12′54″E / 64.484000°N 24.21500°E / 64.484000; 24.21500Coordinates: 64°29′2.4″N 24°12′54″E / 64.484000°N 24.21500°E / 64.484000; 24.21500
Length 166 km (103 mi)
  • Average rate:
    30 m3/s (1,100 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Basin size 3,711.9 km2 (1,433.2 sq mi)

The Pyhäjoki (literally: "sacred river") is a river in Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland. It is 166 kilometres (103 mi) long and the town of Pyhäjoki is located where it empties into the Gulf of Bothnia on the Baltic Sea.

The river originates in Lake Pyhäjärvi and flows generally north-northwest through the Pyhäjokilaakso basin, a lightly settled region in southwest Northern Ostrobothnia. Towns along its course are Kärsämäki, Haapavesi and Oulainen. It empties into the Gulf of Bothnia at the town of Pyhäjoki, dividing into two branches shortly beforehand. The drainage basin of the Pyhajöki is variously described as 3,711.9 square kilometres (1,433.2 sq mi)[1] and 3,750 square kilometres (1,450 sq mi);[2] its mean discharge is approximately 30 cubic metres per second (1,100 cu ft/s).[2]

The river has rapids and is used for rafting.[2] Timber was formerly rafted down it, but like the other short rivers in the region, it could not support a major sawmill industry at its mouth.[3] In 1979 the river still had a salmon run, but numbers declined and in 1993 the river was included in a salmon action plan (SAP) under which fry were introduced from the Torne River.[4][5][6]

The element pyhä-, meaning "sacred", in the name of the river and of the lake where it originates, stems from Finnish paganism.[7]


  1. ^ Suomen päävesistöalueet -taulukko, Ympäristöministeriö (Finnish Department of the Environment), updated 22 May 2012 (in Finnish)
  2. ^ a b c "Пюхя-Йоки (Pyhäjoki)", Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd ed. 1969–1978 (in Russian)
  3. ^ "Geographical Regions" in Finland and Its Geography, ed. Raye R. Platt, American Geographical Society of New York, London: Methuen, 1957, OCLC 8481554, p. 391.
  4. ^ Journal de L'Office Des Recherches Sur Les Pêcheries Du Canada 36 (1979) 434.
  5. ^ Action Before Extinction: An International Conference on Conservation of Fish Genetic Diversity, ed. Brian Harvey et al., Victoria, British Columbia: World Fisheries Trust, 1998, ISBN 9780968395806, p. 111.
  6. ^ Valtiopäivät Asiakirjat F4 (2002) p. 266 (in Swedish)
  7. ^ John Martin Crawford, "Preface", The Kalevala: The Epic Poem of Finland, 2 vols. New York: Alden, 1888, OCLC 691557, Volume 1, p. xvii.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Keijo Juntunen, Juha Paso and Erkki Jokikokko. Lohi nousee Simojokeen, Kuivajokeen, Kiiminkijokeen ja Pyhäjokeen: tuloksia ja päätelmiä vuosien 1999–2000 seurannoista (Salmon recovery in the Simojoki, Kuivajoki, Kiiminkijoki and Pyhäjoki – monitoring results and conclusions 1999–2000). Kala- ja riistaraportteja 221. Helsinki/Oulu: Riista- ja kalatalouden tutkimuslaitos, 2001. ISBN 9789517763271 (in Finnish)