Map of Nevis
|⁃ location||Anykiai District Municipality|
|Length||209 km (130 mi)|
|Basin size||6,140 km2 (2,370 sq mi)|
|⁃ average||33.2 m3/s (1,170 cu ft/s)|
The Nevis (Lithuanian: [n'v:s] ) is the sixth longest river in Lithuania and one of the main tributaries of the Nemunas. Its length is 209 km (130 mi), and it flows only within the geographical confines of Lithuania. It is the second longest river in Lithuania, after the ?ventoji, that flows exclusively within its borders. Its source is in the Anykiai District Municipality, and the river first flows in a northwesterly direction, but then at Panevys turns towards the southwest, and passing K?dainiai, flows into the Neman just west of Kaunas near Raudondvaris.
There is a popular misconception that the name Nevis means "a river without crayfishes" because vys is the Lithuanian word for crayfish and ne means "no". In fact, the Nevis is known for its variety of fauna which include crayfish. The name Nevis is possibly derived from a Finnic word nevo meaning "swamp" (cf. Neva River); the upper river has swampy banks.
The river gave name to many things including Panevys, the fifth largest city in Lithuania. Its name means "[Town] near Nevis." FK Nevis and KK Nevis are also named after the river. The Nevis is important in Lithuanian culture because it flows through the middle of Lithuania. During the Middle Ages, the river was considered to be a natural border between two regions of Lithuania: Samogitia and Auk?taitija.
Nevis has about seventy tributaries. The largest are:
In 1992, the Krekenava Regional Park was established in order to preserve the Middle Nevis ecosystem and natural surroundings. The park is unique because it breeds and tries to protect from extinction wisents, the European bison.
Even with two canals supplying Nevis with water, it becomes very shallow during a drier summer. Regularly it is between 4 and 9 meters deep. In more recent years, a number of grass carp was introduced to the river for aquatic weed control. The Nevis, due to its low level of water, slow current, and influx of the run-off of fertilizers from agriculture, was becoming more and more overgrown with weeds. It was hoped that the introduction of grass carp would help to control the process. Critics argued that the fish would not survive in the relatively cold climate. However, local fishermen still catch carp introduced several years ago.
The Nevis is connected with two other large rivers by canals. In order to reduce floods on the L?vuo river, the San?il? Canal was dug in 1930. A draft to connect these rivers was first written in 1797. The location was very convenient: about 9,000 years ago Nevis was a tributary to L?vuo. The land between the rivers was low and there was a small San?il? rivulet which could serve as the basis for the new canal. In the 19th century the Neman delta belonged to the Germans. This was an obstacle in trading. The Russian Empire was looking for ways to direct ships from the Neman directly to the port of Riga. The plan was abandoned because of insufficient funds. The idea was revisited again in 1914, the preparations for construction started but were interrupted by World War I. After reclaiming the origin of the L?vuo, heavy rains would cause the flood of as many as twenty villages. It was decided to dig an 8 km length canal. In 1961-63 another canal connecting the Nevis with the ?ventoji was finished. It is 12 km in length. There is a pumping station near Kavarskas to supply the canal with water.