Lake Fishery Museum, Antanas Truskauskas Hunting and Nature Exhibition (divisions of Molėtai Area Museum)
Lake Fishery Museum is a unique place, where you will find everything that is related with fishery in the lakes: from various fishing tools up to the rarest fish which can be found in the lakes. You will also get acquainted with ancient fishing and how this business was changing as the years gone by. The museum is established in the ethnographic farmstead of a fisher, which was rebuilt in the 19th century, consisting of the wooden hut and a barn typical for the Highlands, situated in Mindūnai village.
History teacher Virginija Mackonienė had an idea to establish a fishery museum in 1988, so she started collecting exhibits in the remote villages with her students and then had established the museum. The exhibition was extending every year. Nowadays, you can see various fishing tools in the museum, which were used as far back as at the end of the 14th century. The oldest exhibition is an impressive skiff, which is 4 meters long and was carved from a trunk of a thick tree. The stiff, reminiscing the 15th century was brought here after pulling it out of bottom of Peršokšnas Lake. The exhibition also contains the old devices for capturing eel, ancient nets, fishing baskets, creels, venter, automatic fishing rods as well as flax and hemp fibre, used to knit the nets.
After looking at the exhibits and listening to the stories told by the guides, you will be able to admire three roof-posts, decorating the environment of the museum, which were made by a famous carver, folk sculptor Stasys Karanauskas – for catching crayfish, fishing and the nature of Mindūnai region. Nearby, there is a small pool, where you can see some fish and smokehouses for smoking fish.
In 2005, the Lake Fishery Museum became a division of Molėtai Area Museum and since then the museum had expanded its activity: various projects are implemented, an interest in the environmental protection is taken, educational programmes are created, a more in depth examination of a fisherman’s everyday life was done, production of fishing tools is undertaken as well as various ethnographic expeditions are organised.
When visiting Molėtai region, do not miss a chance to visit this museum, as it is the only one of this kind in the whole Lithuania. There is no other museum which would be collecting a set of fishery in the lakes.
Nearby, in the next building, you can visit Antanas Truskauskas Hunting and Nature Exhibition. Here, you will see trophies of a hunter A. Truskauskas, who was hunting in as much as four continents. The hunter’s collection contains northern deer, shot in Canada, a lion from Tanzania, black bock from Argentina as well as a silver goat and a bear hunted down in Siberia. Antanas Truskauskas was the first Lithuanian, who had hunted down an African elephant in 2002.
The museum would not be complete without a fish soup cooked from the lake fish. Upon prior arrangement, the guests could be greeted with steaming and fragrant fish soup made by the housewives from Mindūnai region, which is also very essential in the yearly feasts of ice fishing, taking place on February in Mindūnai.