Lakes of Ogulin are quite special. From well known Sabljaci to numerous smaller lakes and sinkholes all over the area. There are quite a few springs as well. One lake is quite unique and this past weekend we decided to explore the secrets of Šmitovo jezero.
Šmitovo jezero lake
This unique lake, Šmitovo jezero is a small lake near Ogulin. Lake means jezero in Croatian. It basically consists of two lakes and the water from the Small lake overflows to Big Lake. The water to Small lake gets from Rupećica spring cave nearby. Both lakes are sinkholes that got filled with water at one point. The karst terrain of this region is very unique and full of wonderful discoveries. Small lake is 7.5 meters deep while the Big Lake is 23 meters deep. Some are saying that the big one is much deeper but both springs have been explored and there can hardly be any additional surprises.
Secrets of the Lake
Rupećica spring cave is connected to the lakes forming a unique eco system. Olm can be found here as well as a special Ogulin Sponge. The Ogulin cave sponge (Eunapius subterraneus) is the only known freshwater sponge (family – Spongillidae) among stygobionts in the world! You can learn more here.
Anther fascinating creature is an endemic fish riba svjetlica (Telestes polylepis). It only lives here in about 100 meters long system of Rupećica spring cave and Šmit’s lake. Apparently, there are only about 100 fish left! The scientists keep catching the brought in species to save Telestes from disappearing altogether so don’t bring other fish here.
There is a legend of a local dragon. The dragon saw a pretty girl at the lake and kidnapped her. Saint George caught him and killed him saving the girl. The saint’s horse left a mark with its hoof on a rock next to the lake. However, since everything was under thick layer of snow, we could not look for it. But we did see the dragon!
The lake’s old name was Green lake but they renamed it after some guy Šmit who lived nearby. There are contradicting stories on who he was so I will not discuss them. But, here is the video we shot at the lake this past weekend. Still testing my video skills but soon planning to go into more complex things.