Liminka Bay was known for its fish and waterfowl as early as in the 16th century. There were up to 50 groups of seine fishermen, who set off from the Hyrynranta boat dock in Virkkula or travelled along the rivers to the well-known fishing waters. Today, fishing is carried out for household purposes and the boaters use the harbours of River Temmesjoki and River Lumijoki as their bases. Professional fishermen use the harbours of Varjakka (in Lumijoki) and Riutunkari (in Oulunsalo).

A small yellow fishing cabin amongst the reed. Two White-tailed eagles sitting on the roof of the cabin.

Fishing and Hunting Cabins

The fishing and hunting cabins are part of the scenery of the Liminka Bay. The cabins were built for the use of hunters and fishermen in the period between the 1950s and the 1970s. The fishermen stayed overnight at these cabins, in order to be able to examine their nets early in the morning and the hunters were ready for the morning flight of ducks. The piles of stones beneath the cabins are not natural formations of stones. During the winter, the cabin builders transported the stones by lorry and by tractor to function as the foundations for the buildings. Today, these modest cabins, built of board, are privately owned. 

History of the Protection of Liminka Bay

During the late 1970s, WWF noted the need for the protection of Liminka Bay, when the drying of the wetland was planned in Lumijoki.  After negotiations that were participated by Metsähallitus and WWF, the area for the first birdwatching tower was rented. In 1982, Liminka Bay was included in the Finnish Waterfowl Habitats Conservation Programme and it received the status of an internationally valuable bird wetland. WWF had built an information centre in Virkkula, Liminka, in 1988.

Gradually, the entire Liminka Bay has been protected, although a large part of it is privately owned. The area belongs to the Natura 2000 network. Almost one fourth of the bay has been permanently protected from hunting.  
WWF's information centre operated between the summers of 1988-1997. The municipality of Liminka had built a new visitor centre in 1998. However, the activities of the visitor centre died down.

In 2008, local nature entrepreneurs and enthusiasts gathered their strength and established Liminganlahden Ystävät ry (Association of the Friends of Liminka Bay) and organised the first Bird Photography Festival. The extension of the visitor centre and the Eight Seasons of Birds exhibition were implemented as cooperation between Metsähallitus and the municipality of Liminka in 2012.

Read also about Liminka Bay's nature.