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Lake Vištytis

Lake Vištytis
Primary outflows Pissa
Basin countries Lithuania, Russia
Max. length 8 km (5.0 mi)[1]
Max. width 4.2 km (2.6 mi)[1]
Surface area 17.83 km2 (6.88 sq mi)[2]
Average depth 15.5 m (51 ft)[1]
Max. depth 54 m (177 ft)[1]
Water volume .258 km3 (0.062 cu mi)[1]
Surface elevation 172.4 m (566 ft)[1]
Settlements Vištytis

Lake Vištytis (Lithuanian: Vištyčio ežeras, German: Wystiter See, Russian: Виштынецкое озеро) is a lake on the border between Lithuania (Vilkaviškis district) and Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast). Prior to World War II it marked part of the border between Germany (East Prussia) and Lithuania.

The small Lithuanian town of Vištytis on the northern shore was named after the lake. On the Lithuanian side, the lake and its environs are protected by Vištytis Regional Park. The lake has 15 inflows, but only one river, the Pissa, tributary to Pregolya, flows from this lake.[3]

Lake Vištytis covers an area of 17.83 km2 (6.88 sq mi), of which 5.44 km2 (2.10 sq mi) belongs to Lithuania.[2] This is a marked increase over 0.4 km2 (0.15 sq mi) that belonged to Lithuania before ratification of the Russian–Lithuanian border treaty in 2003.[4] On occasion, high winds or broken equipment can force tourist boats to the opposite shore.[5][6] Even if unintentional, such incidents constitute illegal border crossings and can lead to sanctions from the border guards.[5]

Before the 2003 treaty, the border ran along the waterline of the beaches on the Lithuanian side, so anyone paddling in the water was technically crossing into Russia.

Sometimes the lake is used for smuggling goods, usually cigarettes, across the border.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Vištyčio regioninis parkas" (in Lietuvių). Vilkaviškio turizmo ir verslo informacijos centras. Archived from the original on 2009-12-20. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  2. ^ a b Jablonskis, Jonas; Aldona Jurgelėnaitė (2007). "Lietuvos ežerų statistika" (PDF). Geografija (in Lietuvių) 2 (43): 22.  
  3. ^ (Lithuanian) Jonas Zinkus; et al., eds. (1985–1988). "Vištytis". Tarybų Lietuvos enciklopedija IV. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vyriausioji enciklopedijų redakcija. p. 583.  
  4. ^ Šilas, Vytautas (July 2003). "Mūsų Vištytis". Tautininkų žinios (in Lietuvių) 14 (180). 
  5. ^ a b "Vištyčio ežere vėjas atnešė rusus" (in Lietuvių).  
  6. ^ "Septyni lietuviai ne savo noru apsilankė Rusijoje" (in Lietuvių).  
  7. ^ "Sulaikyti 6 kontrabanda įtariami asmenys" (in Lietuvių).  

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