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Gaula river is located in Middle Norway, it is a place with a long history beloved by salmons and kayakers alike.

Like a Salmon in Gaula
Gaula whitewater is a threat for locals from Trondheim region who knows the side creeks as Sokna, Bua, Fora, Hauka, Stavilla and Ena can offer deep scenic wood canyon with playful whitewater – or life-threatening big water when too high. Season is during spring snowmelt and is opened by the local festival Trøndelagsrunden by the end of May. During summer and autumn rivers work from rain. Winter has the spectacle of massive ice blocks that patiently grow until the spring flood carry them down. Gaula itself is among the biggest rivers in Trøndelag region, and in top 25 of Norwegian biggest rivers.

Like a Salmon in Gaula

Most of Gaula is mild, yet it has one exciting place called Gaulfossen, where the river becomes suddenly very narrow between 2 rock walls for a 700 m long stretch of quality whitewater. An ancient path goes along the river, it is sketchy but doable to walk there and have a scenic look on the river. There is indeed giant’s kettle (in Norwegian jettegryter, in French marmite du diable) formed in the rock by the river that are quite a thing to see. The rapid is technically rather straightforward (class 3-4) but the power of the river is surprising and makes a swim extremely dangerous on already 100 m3/s. Here is videolink of Gaulfossen runs on 450m3/s with an average waterspeed of 6 m/s ( ), 300m3/s ( ) and on a boatercross at around 100 m3/s ( The one who likes training on reasonable flow and big smile for pushy water should pay a visit to Gaulfossen. But what is great of Gaula is that it is also a real friendly place for anyone up for a chilled multi days adventures (when the river is not flooding) to bring along family, friends, picnics, dogs and cats. River cruises through peaceful sceneries on a gentle stream who save you from spending energy moving down. After a 150 km journey from the top it meets the sea in Trondheimsfjord where it has its own arm of the fjord named “Gaulaosen” wich is a protected natural area. Nearby there is even coral at a shallow depth of 30 meters in Børsa for the ones who also like underwater world.

Gaula river is famous for its salmons, it is therefore important to disinfect for gyrodactylus salaris if you visited an infected watershed before, like Driva. Most infected rivers in Norway, from Swedish fish brought in the 1970s, are now under curing or without gyro anymore, and we have never been so closed to have all Norwegian rivers clean and safe for salmons again! Fishing season is when salmons swims up the river from 1. June to 31. August, and during this time kayakers can try to become friend with their fellow fishermen. Some adventurous fishermen also hike in Bua canyon and are rewarded by fish no smaller than in Gaula. If one likes fishing a fishing license should be purchased for the day. Every year fishermen catch 20 to 50 tons of salmon in Gaula with individuals more than 20 kg and longer than 1 meter, so that Gaula is one of the most famous Norwegian salmon rivers. Scenery of Gaula is surrounded by the national park of Forhollhogna where Bua has its springs. Fun fact, salmons limit to swim up Gaulfossen is comparable with the max flow for a kayaker to go down : 175 m3/s, the fish can even take a bit more when water temperature is above 8 degrees.

Gaula is also famous for its severe floods. Gaula has no dams and is protected for any to be built, and no natural lakes either in its large watershed, so that it reacts sharps to rain. Gaula valley was already mentioned in the Norrønes saga from Viking and early Middle Age times, that refers to the farm Buanes (Bones) in Rognes. Large floods and following clay landslide are remembered from 1345, 1675, July 1789 (Storofsen, 3 days with a total of 3 m rain), June 1918 (2400 m3/s in Gaulfossen), August 1940 (3000 m3/s in Gaulfossen). The most recent was in 2010 with 1400 m3/s in Gaulfossen. The biggest flood is likely the one from 1940, during Nazi occupation. The flood came as a wave without warning and distroyed bridges and railway, the solders first thought a dam had been sabotaged upstream, but there are no dams on Gaula. The flood was the results of almost 3 days of rain nonstop with a maximum of 70 cm per day, and at the peak the water rose 16 meters above normal level upstream Gaulfossen.