Tana river

The Tana Watercourse

The Tana Watercourse (Tanavassdraget in Norwegian and Deanučázádat in sámi) is the largest national-border-watercourse between Finland and Norway. It is also one of the largest Atlantic salmon Rivers in the world. The watercourse is loaded mainly in the Norwegian municipalities Tana and Karasjok, and in the Finnish municipality Utsjok. Parts of the watercourse also stretch into the Norwegian municipality Kautokeino.

Map; Tana Watercourse

The Tana Watercourse is made up by nine main tributaries varying in size. It consists of over 40 tributaries that ad up to a stretch of 1200 km accessible to salmon. Today, 30 genetically different stocks of salmon have been identified to inhabit the river course.


Riverboats at Tana mainstream (foto; Kjell-Magne Johnsen)


The main River in the Tana Watercourse is the Deatnu River, also known as the Tana River in Norwegian. Running from south to north, the Tana River starts at the point of confluence of the Kárášjohka River and the Anarjohka River. The river runs for 211 km before entering the Barents Sea via the Tana Fjord. The water in the river generally flows with a low speed due to the river course being broad and large parts of the river floor consisting of sand. The lowermost spawning place is situated 35 km upstream from the sea.  


River Maskejohka (foto; Kjell-Magne Johnsen)

The Máskejohka River, also known as the Masjok River in Norwegian, is made up by the two smaller tributaries Geasis and Uvjalátnja. The rivers has their outsprings far into the Finnmark Plateau, and drains into the Tana River about 25 km. from the river mouth. In total, there are 55 km. of the Máskejohka River that is accessible to salmon. In this river, the salmon population includes small-sized salmon (Diddi), middle-sized salmon (luosjuolgi) and larger-sized salmon (luossa).

The maps show the upper limit for salmon-population in 1) the river Geasis: map sheet 2235 II, UTM 325931, by the waterfall, and 2) the river Uvjalátnja: Map sheet 2235 II, UTM 279887, by the waterfall.

Map of Máskejohka


River Buolmatjohka (foto: Kjell-Magne Johnsen)

The River Buolbmátjohka, also known as the Polmak River in Norwegian, springs from the lake Buolbmátjávri and runs for about 10 km. before it enters the Tana-River just north of the rural area Polmak. The River has a small population of salmon, and also grayling and pike.

Map of Buolbmátjohka


River Laksjohka (foto: Kjell-Magne Johnsen)

This tributary springs from the depth of the Laksefjord Platteau. The confluence of the rivers Deavkkehanjohka and Gurtejohka forms Lakšjohka,
and the river enter the Tana River about 10 km upstream Storfossen. Over 40 km. of the river is accessible for salmon. The salmon population consists mainly of smaller-sized salmon, but also a strain of middle-sized salmon. In addition to salmon, there are also populations of trout and sea-trout.

The maps show the upper limit for salmon-population in 1) The River Deavkehanjohka: map sheet 2235 III, UTM 045772, by Roavvevarri. 2) The River Gurtejohka: Map sheet 2235 III, UTM 072848, at the end of Gurteluobbal.

Map of Lakšjohka


River Leavvajohka (foto: Kjell-Magne Johnsen)

At the foot of the mountain Rástigáisá, which is the highest mountain in Eastern Finnmark, we find the spring of Leavvajohka. Leavvajohka is a relatively large tributary that drains into the Tana River about 4 km. below Levajok Fjellstue.

Map of Leavvajohka


Part of the river Váljohka originates from the lake Idjájávri, located by the E6-route between Karasjok and Lakselv. In addition, there are a high number of smaller tributaries to Váljohka. The river has its outlet to the main river about 35 km upstream Levajok Fjellstue.

Map of Váljohka



River Anarjohka (foto: Kjell-Magne Johnsen)

River Anárjohka is drains trough the Norwegian municipalities Karasjok. It has one of its springs in The Upper Anárjohka National Park, and it runs in North-Eastern direction through the National Park until the point of confluence with River Skiehččanjohka. A number of different tributaries drain to The River Anárjohka, and almost 250 km of the Anárjohka Watercourse is accessible for salmon. Large parts of the watercourse are accessible by car. In addition to salmon there are several fish species in Anárjohka; both of eastern and western origin.

The upper limit for salmon migration in the tributary Goššjohka: map sheet 2032 IV, UTM 174 435.

Map of Anárjohka


River Kárášjohka (foto: Kjell-Magne Johnsen)

The drainage area of Kárášjohka is 4 948 km2, which makes up almost one third of the Tana Rivers total catchment area. Large areas of the river are only accessible by boat. There are many salmon-bearing tributaries that drain to Kárášjohka, making the total stretch of the river approx. 140 km.

Between Skáidegeahči (the point of confluence of the river Iesjohka and the river Kárášjohka) and the point of confluence of the river Kárášjohka and the river Anarjohka the river mainly flows at low speed. The population of salmon in the river consists of strains of all sizes, and in addition there are several other species of fish populating the river.

The upper limit for salmon migration in the River Kárášjohka: map sheet 1933 II, UTM 942717, at Lailagorži.

Map of Kárášjohka


River Iešjohka (foto Kjell Sæther)

Iešjohka is one of the largest tributaries of River Tana. It is located in the upper part of the Tana Watercourse, and the drainage area of this river stretches far into the Finnmark Plateau. The highway Riksvei 92 follows the river from the lake Šuoššjávri to the rural area Ássebákti. The Iešjohka River has its point of confluence with the river Kárášjohka at Skáidegeahči, about 13 km. upstream the village Karasjok.

In total, about 130 km. of the Iešjohka Watercourse is accessible for salmon. The population consists mainly of large-sized salmon and middle-sized salmon, but also a few strains of small-sized salmon.

The map shows the upper limit for salmon-population in the River Iesjohka: map sheet 1934 II, UTM 966130, at Iešjohkgorži.

Map of Iešjohka