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Lake Kočevje

Lake Kočevje or Lake Rudnik is one of the cleanest lakes in Slovenia. It is an artificial lake created in the area of a former brown coal mine. Today, it is home to many animal and plant species.

The lake’s formation, located on the Kočevje Plain in the northeastern part of the town of Kočevje, dates to the period 1973-1978. The mining for brown coal created hollows, which were later flooded by water, and during the mine’s operation the water flowing in from the Rudnik Stream was pumped out. When coal mining ended, the water was no longer pumped, the basin began to fill with water and a lake was formed.

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Lake Kočevje is up to 40 m deep, which makes it one of the deepest lakes in Slovenia.

The bottom is terraced and poorly overgrown with aquatic vegetation. The water is very clean and of good quality. The lake's surface measures about 1.5 km2 and the shore is almost 3 km long.

Important habitat

Life in the lake and its surroundings is very diverse. Lake Kočevje’s surroundings are populated by several plant and animal species.

It is a nesting area for almost 70 bird species, many of which are on the red list of endangered birds nesting in Slovenia.

The vegetation along the lake is also very diverse. On the extreme northern side of the lake there is a pine forest, which is a special flora characteristic in the Kočevje region.

In 1989, large quantities of fish began to be systematically stocked in the lake, while chub, tench and rudd had already multiplied greatly. A large quantity of fish was transferred to the lake from Rinža, while in 2003 from Lake Reka as part of a rescue operation.

In the lake there are carp weighing up to 25 kg, catfish, some over two meters long, pike, pike-perch, grass carp and other species of fish.

All this is what the lake offers

Lake Kočevje and its surroundings are popular with locals and visitors to Kočevje.

There is a nature trail of 3 kilometres circling the lake, which passes by all the lake’s main features.

The trail is great for walking, running and cycling.

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In the summer months, lovers of swimming, sailing, paddleboarding, boating, diving and fishing can knock themselves out, and in winter, if it is cold, the lake offers the possibility of skating.

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It is always the right time to visit Lake Kočevje, which surprises visitors with its beauty, serenity and colours.

Author: Danila Golob

Date: 24. November 2020

Time to read: 2 min