Poronaysk urban district is one of the richest and most picturesque areas in the region: it includes lakes and extensive rivers, game animals and a variety of vegetation, and, of course, famous nature reserve “Poronaysky” and the Nevskoye Lake. The Nevskoye Lake is the largest one on Sakhalin; it is located near the mouth of the Poronay River and is the favorite place for fishing, hunting and recreational leisure. The most suitable spot to arrange a fishing session is the mouth of the Rukutami River and the Nevsky Strait. About 30 fish species inhabit the lake.
The Nevskoye Lake got its name after one of the ships of the first Russian expedition led by Ivan Krusenstern — Neva sloop. The lake is salty, lagoon-type, its average depth varies from 50 cm to 1 m, its max. depth is 2 meters and max. width is 40 km. The lake is separated from the Sea of Okhotsk by narrow Nevskaya spit and is connected with it by Promyslovka flow and Nevsky Strait.Poronaysk is the administrative center of Poronaysk urban district. It was founded in 1869 in the neighborhood of settlements of the Nivkh, Ainu and other indigenous people as Tikhmenevsky outpost (named in honor of Mikhail Tikhmenev, the military governor).
Anton Chekhov visited the settlement in 1890 and later, related it in his book The Sakhalin Island. In Japanese, the town was called Sisuka, but in 1945, the military authorities recorded it as Sikuka. In Karafuto prefecture, Sisuka was the first town located to the south from the 50th parallel. In 1925-1926, this was the place where those refusing to live under the Soviets flocked. A dam that was built in the 1950s and connected a fishermen settlement with the town of Poronaysk and a village in the neighborhood of the spit divided the lake into the Greater (western part) and Lesser (eastern part) ones.
If you stay at the Nevskoye Lake for a long while, you can stock up your food supplies in Poronaysk, the nearest residential location. In the instance of bad weather or other circumstances preventing you from getting to Poronaysk, it is possible to acquire foodstuffs from local fishermen (in this case, the barter rules apply). The lake water is slightly salty and is not suitable for drinking. The ferry service across the Poronay River is executed by Marusya vessel and functions from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except Sundays, from May 1 to December 1. During the fishing season, the working hours are extended until 9 (10) p.m.