Kurile Lake
One of the world's largest spawning pond of sockeye (red) salmon

South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Sanctuary (Yuzhno-Kamchatsky federalny zakaznik) is incorporated into UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Regulations pertaining to conduct in the sanctuary are strict and close to the rules of a nature reserve because its tasks are extremely difficult: preservation of natural complexes of the southern part of Kamchatka.

One of the most picturesque and affluent in wildlife places in the sanctuary and on the peninsula is the Kurile Lake. Fantastically beautiful and almost untouched by civilization, the lake emerged some 8.4 thousand years ago in the result of powerful volcanic eruption. Kurile Lake’s surface area is about 77.1 square kilometers (48 square miles) and the depth reaches 316 m (1037 ft). The lake lies between two volcanoes: Ilyinsky and Kambalny.

The Kurile Lake is one of the world's largest spawning pond of sockeye (red) salmon. During some of the years up to 10 million fish come to spawn in the lake. Bear is a hospitable master of these places. With great pleasure the brown bears meet spawning sockeye salmon. Bear is the main and the only fisher here. Dozens of bears gather around the lake’s shores. They fish, play with each other, repose imposingly in the shade, and pay no attention to the surprised tourists.

In winter, brown bears are replaced with a large number of winged predators. Up to 700 Steller's sea eagles, about 150 white-tailed eagles and 50 golden eagles come to the waterside.

Getting to know Kurile Lake’s ecosystem is a fascinating adventure that gives you an opportunity to see the dance of nature in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt corners of the Earth.

An interesting overview of the Kurile lake on Airpano site.