Lake Peipsi and Lake Võrtsjärv are large shallow lakes which are situated in Northern Europe and are part of the Baltic Sea basin. The two lakes are connected by the Emajögi river which drains from Lake Võrtsjärv to Lake Peipsi.
Lake Võrtsjarv is the largest lake within the boundaries of Estonia (270 sq. km [km²]). Despite its large surface area, the lake is shallow. 35 fish species occur in Lake Võrtsjärv. Pike-perch, eel, bream, and pike are the most important commercial fish while perch and roach are also abundant. The lake is an important habitat for nesting birds like the Black Tern and migratory bird species like the Whooper Swan, Crane, Wigeon, Scaup and the Wood Sandpiper.
Lake Võrtsjärv is mainly used for industrial fishery, recreation, and tourism.
The fast expansion of reed thickets and the deterioration of biological diversity are a clear evidence of the eutrophication of the lake during the last decades. Low water level reinforces the rise in trophic level. In future even higher phosphorus and nitrate loads from the agriculture are expected. Non-purified or only unsatisfactory treated wastewater runs into the lake.
The Living Lakes Partner organisations are on the one hand ELF, the Estonian Fund for Nature (NGO Partner at Lake Vörtsjärv) in cooperation with the Lake Võrtsjärv Agency and the Võrtsjärv Limnological Station of the Estonian Agricultural University.
Lake Võrtsjärv Foundation, whose main goal is regional development around the Lake Võrtsjärv rural areas, is the main initiator to support local traditions and the creation of entrepreneurial networks in the region. One of the tasks of the foundation is to encourage local people for nature-friendly economic activities which would support the growth of eco-tourism and the development of traditional branch of production in the region.
From this initiative and support from EU Leader Programme, the online shop www.estcraft.com was founded by A.N.K.Grupp Ltd.. Local craftsmen are expected to offer their quality products which are based on local materials and traditional handicraft skills. Estcraft environment supports craftsmen with the means of IT-knowledge, marketing and shipping.
Lake Võrtsjärv is one of the 100 Greenest Holiday Destinations world-wide
Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100
Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF)
Silvia Lotman, CEO
P.O. Box: 245, Tartu 50002, Estonia
Phone: + 372 - 7 - 428 443
Fax: + 372 - 7 - 428 166
E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake Võrtsjärv Foundation (Võrtsjärve Sihtasutus)
Rannu 61101, Tartu county, Estonia
Phone: +372 - 56 95 29 50
Estonian University of Life Sciences
Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Centre for Limnology
61101 Rannu vald, Tartumaa, Estonia
Phone: + 372 - 7 - 45 45 46
Fax: + 372 - 7 - 45 45 46
Website: www.limnos.ee; www.emu.ee
Lake Võrtsjärv Fisheries Development Agency (LVFDA)
(MTÜ Võrtsjärve Kalanduspiirkond)
70314 Viljandi County, Estonia
Phone: +372 52 98 561
Peeter N˜oges and Tiina N˜oges (2011)
Indicators and criteria to assess ecological status of the large shallow temperate polymictic lakes Peipsi (Estonia/Russia) and Vörtsjärv (Estonia)
Tiina N˜oges, Lea Tuvikene, and Peeter N˜oges (2010)
Contemporary trends of temperature, nutrient loading, and water quality in large Lakes Peipsi and Võrtsjärv, Estonia
Lea Tuvikene, Tiina No˜ges, Peeter No˜ges (2010)
Hydrobiologia - The International Journal of Aquatic Sciences, Volume 660, Number 1
Why do phytoplankton species composition and “traditional” water quality parameters indicate different ecological status of a large shallow lake