Vetevaotus, lakes and wetlands

Tsiistrenukk’s eastern border is marked by the River Pedetsi and the west by the meandering Kuura, but in the middle, water trickles form the lakes of Luhte village and Mära Lake through the Villapaiu “puddle” into the Vetevaotus. Usually imperceptible, the Vetevaotus becomes a lake during spring floods and some summer and autumn torrential rains so that the people remember water flowing directly to Kisõjärv over lower places. Usually the flood water disappears underground in a few weeks. Once a woman’s washing bench was said to have fallen into the Vetevaotus down the steep bank, the water swallowed it up and a few days later in emerged from the Kisõjärv. Scientists who study lakes have noted springs at the bottom of Pahijärv but the washing bench was alas not seen floating that way toward the Pedetsi River.

Millennia ago, the current Kisõjärv, Pahijärv, Sõdaalune, Luikjärv, Kõrbjärv, Mägialunõ and Vuuhjärv along with the Pulli, Saarjärv and Immaku lakes near the small town of Misso formed one large lake with many coves. The current Pahijärv is perhaps most reminiscent of that once great lake. An example of a lake that became closed recently is near Pulli stream, which starts at Pulli lake and flows from Saarjärv toward Pedetsi. Only half a century ago, it was known as Kaatsora Lake. It is possible that in fifty years, it will be the north-western corner of Kisõjärv and the entire south-eastern part will have become overgrown. Whereas marshes make up about one-quarter of the area of the Misso region, they account for one-third in Tsiistrenukk – about 900 hectares. The largest one is Selsisuu: the area that falls in Tsiistrenukk is 200 ha and the peat layer’s volume is 3 million m³.

Tsiistrenukk is thus a watery area and the flowing waters even link it with the seven seas through the Pedetsi-Daugava and Kuura-Gauja river systems. About 5% of Tsiistrenukk’s area is covered by rivers – 124 ha – and continues to cheer everyone who find them amid the forests for as long as they have not become paludified.