The area of the artificial lake is about 54 ha. The artificial lake extends from Saesaare dam 4.5-5.5 km upstream and during the spring floods to the Kiidjärve mill. Average depth of the lake is 4m, maximum depth 10m.
Saesaare was once called the island between the two river branches, which was located where the dam is nowadays. Like other places in the area, the name came from the doings of the Vanapagan (The old devil). Vanapagan, as an enterprising creature, used to run a sawmill there. The legend, however, does not clearly tell why did Vanapagan need the sawmill, but people heard the sawmill work sometimes. Vanapagan’s timber business did not go very well, and as an easily irritated and aggressive creature he was, ended his business and destroyed the sawmill. The stones he used for the construction of the sawmill, were thrown into the river. After an unsuccessful business project, the Vanapagan has not been seen anymore.
This place seems to attract enterprising beings, and so in 1950, the enterprising electricians of the ESSR found that the power plant could replace their precursor sawmill – why would all that water flow and rocks lay on the ground for no reason! The men were sent to the forest to cut down the trees and the bulldozers to gather the stones for the dam. In nature, the creation of such a lake would have taken thousands, perhaps even millions of years, but thanks to the Soviet people, it took only a few years of work and it was ready!
At the same time as one hard-working group were working on the hydroelectric power plant, the other group were setting up the power lines from Narva. The group who were working on the hydroelectric power plant, won this race – they finished the power plant in 1952. The group who were setting up the power lines, finished their job a few years later. After the work was done, the electricians started to think and compare each others work – the power line workers were announced as the real winners. Namely, through the wires came so much electricity to the Põlva county forests that there was no need for the hydroelectric power plant anymore. The power plant was soon shut down, but as the men were tired of the work, they could not immediately start demolishing the dam. They just left like Vanapagan did.
It did not take long to attract our own “siliconvalley” entrepreneurs. In 1991, the men came, looked around the watermill and once again started the power plant! The men were able to grind the electricity for a couple of decades until the suspicious men started to slip around the power plant. When the local men managed to catch the suspicious men, it turned out that these men were actually government officials. The men of the government were concerned that the dam hurts the fish. Namely, they had promised to their European friends that they will do everything here to make fish happy. But the fish went to the capital and complained that it was not very good to live in the Ahja River because the water mill is blocking their swimming route. The government officials came down to Saesaare and saw that there is a very evil dam. The leading fish psychologists who came with them also had to admit that such a huge dam could cause serious stress to the fish. The owner of the dam suggested that he could build the stairs for the fish and train them to go up and down. After that everybody were happy and parted as friends. After a while, the government officials were back with sad faces. They had in the meantime consulted their European friends and experts about the fish. It turned out, however, that walking up and down the stairs still causes stress to the fish and it is still bad for them. The government officials told that they want the fish to be happy and you should remove your dam.
If someone this time on Saesaare starts to dismantle a company, then hopefully they will not disappear right after it, just like its predecessor, but will also take responsibility of its future.
You can find more accurate and specific description on Wikipedia.