Angling on the Gacka river

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The Gacka Beauty, 61 km long with its tributaries, springs unexpectedly quiet from below Godača and Venac hills in Sinac. Once out of the karst underground, it shows its liveliness and playfulness after fifty meters already. It rushes down in small cascades, forming a river stream or tributaries. It lazily meanders down the plain to Karlov kanal near Otočac. From this point on it merges with the Lika River.

Although essentially a karst river, the Gacka is extremely slow and quiet with a uniform flow of water. Apart form the uniform abundance of its source, the Gacka is known for its stability and small temperature differences. The average annual water temperature is 9.4°C (7.9°C in winter, 10.8°C in summer), which is particularly suitable to the fish of the salmonid family.  The Gacka water is rich in oxygen (9.1 to 13.5 mg/l), even to supersaturated conditions. It is slightly alkaline as well as fairly hard and rich in calcium salts.

The flora and fauna of the Gacka River is very rich. The aquatic vegetations of mosses, algae and woody plants are lush due to favorable water temperature, good chemical composition and muddy bottom.

From the fish species, the Gacka is renowned for its brown trout (Salmo trutta), truly a mecca for passionate anglers. Because of the abundance of food, the Gacka brown trout grows 5-7 times faster than in any other trout water in the world. Capital specimens of the Gacka's trout have been known to grow up to 5 kg. The angling season on the Gacka River opens 1 March and closes 31 October.

The Gacka River means life for the people of the Gacko polje. In addition to using its waters for drinking (the Gacka River is the second highest for quality of potable water in Europe), they catch its fish and cut its water plants for their cattle. At the sources (in Sinac and Lešće), they have built many watermills to grind grain, wooden hammers to pound and soften homespun cloth and baskets and to roll the rough blankets made of homespun cloth. The watermills on the Gacka River in Sinac are particularly attractive as an authentic reminder of the traditional construction on water and the old crafts. The wooden hammer for cloth pounding preserved in Sinac is one of the rare such apparatuses in Croatia still in operation.

Come and see the watermills in Sinac, smell the freshly ground flour, hear the clattering of the mill stone and the roaring of the clear water crashing onto the drive wheel, or just enjoy the fresh air.


Angling regime

The main stream of the Gacka River is divided into A, B and C angling zones.
The A Zone encompasses the Gacka stream from the source at Tonković vrilo to the Stanišić (Rogić) Bridge, including the Sinačka pučina from the pond dam to the confluence into the River Gacka. Only fly angling is allowed. This zone is a catch-and-release-area, particularly in the area of the Podgora Bridge (the first bridge) upstream from the confluence of the Sinačka pučina into the Gacka.

The area from the Knjapovac Brook to Tonković vrilo is a natural reserve where angling is prohibited. The B Zone encompasses the Gacka stream from the Stanišić Bridge to the confluence of the Gacka in the Poljica Tunnel. Fly angling and any type of artificial fly is allowed. Zone C encompasses Švica Lake and Gusić Polje Lake. Artificial lures are allowed.

Weights and floats are not allowed with artificial flies.

GACKA d.o.o. za komunalne djelatnosti, zaštitu, gospodarenje rijekom Gackom i turistička agencija
Bartola Kašića 5a
53220 Otočac
Tel. +385 53/771-449. fax: +385 53/746-175
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.