Kronotsky Lake is one of the unique natural sites of Kronotsky National Biosphere Reserve. With its area of 242sq-km and its 2,330sq-km large drainage basin, it is the largest lake in Kamchatka. However its volume of 12.4km3 it ranks second, while its depth of 148m only gives it third place.
The lake is unique, not only by the way it was formed but also because of its impressive population of 30 million Sockeye salmons. This concentration is explained by the isolation of the lake which also enables it to hosts 3 species of endemic fishes.
The eastern side of Kronotsky has 11 islands, rising 25 to 30 meters above the surface. They were all called after members of the Imperial Russian Society of Geography who participated in expeditions in Kamchatka. On the islands that are 34 to 44km away from the coast colonies of Pacific gulls nest. Their number is estimated at 600 couples. Around Lake Kronotsky grows a rare kind of larch said “from Kamchatka” as well as small isolated groups of spruce.
In the larch trees Ospreys (also called fish eagle or sea hawk) and Steller’s sea eagle have their nests. In the surrounding mountains peregrines falcons and gyrfalcons as well as golden eagle can be observed. Kornotsky Lake is completely frozen from the end of December to the middle of May.