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Home / Natural sights / Lake Cerknica


Fish have attracted people to the shore, ponors and sinkholes of Lake Cerknica since prehistoric time, but beasts and flocks of birds feasted by the drained lake long before the first humans.

The ruler of the water world is northern pike, which floats motionlessly in the shades of yellow pond lilies by the Stržen stream. Here, it blends with the surroundings in the game of light and shadows, and patiently waits for a shoal of rudds to pass by its hideout...

In the meantime, tenches chat at the bottom of the stream bed and expose themselves to sunbeams. This dark green šlajn, as the locals call the fish, glistens in gold shades when it turns the stones here and there, chases out mayfly larva and sups it up lazily for its midday snack.

Carps, which were introduced into the lake artificially, also take delight in foraging for insects' larvae and other invertebrates.

Rudds are sociable fish living in smaller shoals of same-sized individuals. The bigger ones rush from depths to the surface where they make loud splashes and pick up the weakened insects caught in the surface film. All too often they also treat themselves with pike caviar...

Chubs, as if feeling uneasy, patrol their part of the lake and fearlessly inspect every novelty they detect. Everything that moves is also under the sharp eyes of perches which examine the lake far and wide in their insatiable hunger...

By the springs of streams which feed the lake, bullheads huddle under rocks and enjoy the cold, oxygen-rich water. A bit further down the shore there is a group of small fish. These are common minnows, springing after the larvae of water insects, and by the flickering pondweed, there is also this little beauty: red-spotted brown trout.

Burbots only leave their shade in the reeds and roots by the stream before nightfall, and then, in the shelter of the night, look for food. Their nocturnal way of life also comes in handy when the lake drains out and they wait underground until the next flooding.

Number of fish species in Lake Cerknica: 10
Number of alien fish species in Lake Cerknica: 3
Largest northern pike ever caught in Lake Cerknica:  106 cm, 12 kg