Lake Keitele, Finland

Lake Locations:

Finland - Lakeland -

Lake Keitele spans an impressive 122,000 acres in Central Finland’s Lakeland District. The lake is connected to Lake Paijanne (271,800 acres) via the Keitele-Paijanne Canal. Completed in 1993, the 25-mile canal has five automated locks that allow boats to navigate the 25-foot difference in elevation with ease. The canal has increased pleasure boating on Lake Keitele considerably. Thirteen ‘visitor harbors’ on the lake provide berths, activities and essentials for the increasing number of sailors and commercial cruises on the lake. Pleasure boaters and holiday visitors are discovering the joys of this mostly quiet lake for themselves, and they give it a resounding ‘thumbs up’!

Commercial cruise boats bring visitors through the canal from the City of Jyvaskyla on Lake Paijanne to the larger cities along Lake Keitele. In addition, private boats can access both Lake Keitele and Lake Kansallisvesi from the Keitele Canal in the north, and through Lake Paijanne to Lake Vesijarvi in the south via the Vaaksy Canal. A total of 1150 miles of marked water routes can be accessed from the waterway, spanning the best and most picturesque areas of Finland’s Lake District. Entire summers are spent traveling the waterway, exploring the many visitor harbors and enjoying both the local activities and the continually changing scenery. True lakelubbers swear that the waterway must be experienced through the riotous colors of autumn to truly experience what Finland is all about. The canals have reduced the need for veteran pleasure boaters to avail themselves of the so-called ‘rubber canals” – a system of boat transfer by truck from one lake system to another. They can now spend more time enjoying the lakes themselves.

Lake Keitele is much more shallow than its neighboring lake, with an average depth of 23 feet. Emergent reed beds provide cover for such sport fish as pike, making Lake Keitele a highly desirable pike fishery. Anglers have always known Lake Keitele produced a wide variety of extremely large fish with regularity. Sport fishermen have come to the lake for many years to fish for such species as pike, perch, zander, bream, ide, brown trout, grayling and landlocked salmon. The varied depths and water conditions provide excellent opportunities to catch both the cold-water loving salmon and trout and those seeking warmer, more shallow lake bottoms. Connected streams provide excellent trout fishing waters, although some are designated spawning areas and thus are off-limits. Ice fishing at Lake Keitele for perch is particularly productive, as the shallow ridge-tops often produce specimens weighing over 2 pounds.

Swimming at Lake Keitele is a favored sport during the summer months, and a number of sandy beaches are located along the shoreline with excellent swim areas. The uninhabited stretches of the lakefront are dotted with lean-tos and resting areas to serve as picnic spots or overnight shelters for canoeists and kayakers who paddle the many coves and bays. The shallows serve as habitat for the many birds and waterfowl that seek its abundant food sources and nesting environment. Boats, canoes, kayaks, bicycles and other sports gear can be rented along the shoreline. The lake is divided into three regions, Yla-Keitele, Keski-Keitele, and Ala-Keitele, of which Keski-Keitele is the largest.

The towns along Lake Keitele’s 900-mile shoreline were historically industrial locations. With the change to mass production and the advent of high-technology industries, the towns are reinventing themselves as tourism centers for lake visitors. Lake Keitele came through the industrial phase with its water quality mostly intact: water testing lists the lake’s waters as good to excellent. For their part, local residents have embraced the concepts of sound ecology whole-heartedly, with many small businesses advertising such features as ‘eco-eating’ (locally-produced foods), nature hikes, and resource conservation and replacement. Cycling trails and wilderness ‘safari’ guides keep holiday-makers abreast of the best in local natural wonders. In winter, the area is renowned for its excellent cross-country ski trails. Other winter activities include snowmobiling, tobogganing and constructed ‘ski-jumps’ which likely should be classified as an extreme sport.

Lake Keitele has attractions off the waterway as well. The City of Aanekoski prides itself on its culture of music and art. The Aanekoski Art Museum provides permanent exhibits of several well-known Finnish artists as well as traveling art collections. All musical tastes can be found at the Sumiainen Iron Wire Shake Festival, featuring guitar artists, and the Keitele Jazz Festival. Near Aanekoski, the Martin Kievari conference center fills the summer nights with drama and comedy as Theater Europe Four takes the stage for several productions. At the southern end of Lake Keitele near Suolahti, the Suolahti International Music Camp offers high-quality musical experiences from different parts of the world. Also on display at Suolahti Hall, a diverse program selection includes concerts and theatrical performances. Aanekoski also offers nostalgic steam train rides in the summer on refurbished steam locomotives rescued from the scrap yard after being put out of service by timber and paper mill companies. An association of historical societies meets the needs of genealogists researching their ancestral history in Finland.

Lake Keitele is coming into its own as a holiday destination. A variety of lodgings can be found from fishing cabins to villas, holiday apartments, bed-and-breakfasts, private summer homes, luxury resorts and hotels. Although the lakefront doesn’t contain nearly as many cottages and villas as nearby Lake Paijanne, there are real estate opportunities to be found among those that exist. Many of these properties are somewhat secluded, giving the hopeful purchaser the opportunity to find a truly private lakefront home. So if you’re looking for the perfect place to celebrate Finland’s Lakeland treasures, you couldn’t find a better location than Lake Keitele. Bring the boat – or rent one – and travel these lovely waterways for yourself. Lake Keitele and the entire waterway await your visit.

Things to do at Lake Keitele

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Tobogganing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish species found at Lake Keitele

  • Brown Trout
  • Grayling
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Zander

Lake Keitele Photo Gallery

  • Jäljet jäällä

Lake Keitele Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 122,070 acres

Shoreline Length: 905 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 326 feet

Average Depth: 23 feet

Maximum Depth: 217 feet

Water Volume: 2,821,282 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 2.2 years

Drainage Area: 2,474 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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