Lithuania’s Rivers

Lithuania has three major rivers- The Venta in the north flowing into Latvia and eventually into the Baltic Sea; and the Nemunas and Neris in the south also flowing into the Baltic.

Many of these rivers are mentioned in other articles on this website. To give some perspective here is something about those bodies rarely described—

Lithuania’s Rivers


Rivers of Lithuania
From Wikipedia

Rivers of Lithuania are typical lowland rivers: they are slow, they make meanders, the valleys are wide. Because of abundant precipitation, the river net is dense: on the average 0.99 km of rivers flow in 1 km² of the territory. However, the rivers are not evenly distributed. The highest density is in the Samogitian Highlands where it rains more often and in the northern Lithuania where the soil has clay and it does not allow the water to drain underground. The lowest density is in the southeastern Lithuania where the soil has a lot sand and the rainwater quickly ooze into the underground.
Almost 70% (some 49,600 km²) of the territory of Lithuania are drained by the Neman River and its tributaries. The other 5 river basins are small and located nears the borders: Mūša-Nemunėlis (Lielupe; 8,976 km²), Venta (5,140 km²), Daugava (1,857 km²), small rivers flowing into the Baltic Sea (2,523 km²) and Pregolya (54 km²). During the winter all rivers freeze over. In the spring almost all rivers flood from melting snow and ice. However, usually only in the Neman River delta the water bursts out of the valley. Nowadays floods are controlled by dams and also due to drainage most rivers have lower water levels than they used to have. In the western Lithuania rivers tend to irregularly flood during the fall because of excessive rains. In the eastern Lithuania rivers tend to discharge a constant amount of water because they are regulated by flow-through lakes and sandy soil, which quickly absorbs any excess rain or snow water.
During the Soviet times (1945-1990) rivers suffered a lot of damage because of drainage. Many swamps were drained and now they cannot feed the rivers anymore. Other smaller rivers were straightened and turned into drainage canals.
Lithuania counts around 29 thousand watercourses, longer than 0.25 km. The total length of all these watercourses would be around 65,000 km. The number of rivers and rivulets longer than 3 km has been calculated very precisely – 4,418. 758 rivers are longer than 10 km. Lithuania has 21 rivers longer than 100 km (62 mi):

Longest rivers

#    Name        Length (km)        Mouth            Most important cities
Total In Lithuania
1    Nemunas    937    475        Curonian Lagoon    Hrodna, Druskininkai, Alytus, Kaunas, Sovetsk
2    Neris           510    235        Nemunas        Vilnius, Kernavė, Jonava, Kaunas
3    Venta River    346    161        Baltic Sea        Venta, Kuldīga, Ventspils
4    Šešupė        298    209        Nemunas        Marijampolė, Kudirkos Naumiestis, Krasnoznamensk
5    Šventoji       246    246        Neris            Anykščiai, Kavarskas, Ukmergė
6    Nevėžis        209    209        Nemunas        Panevėžys, Kėdainiai
7    Merkys         203    190        Nemunas        Baltoji Vokė, Merkinė
8    Minija           202    202        Nemunas Delta    Salantai, Gargždai, Priekulė
9    Nemunėlis   199    160        Lielupe
10    Dysna         173    58          Daugava
11    Jūra             172    172        Nemunas        Rietavas, Tauragė
12    Mūša           157    140        Lielupe
13    Lėvuo          145    145        Mūša            Bauska
14    Šušvė          135    135        Nevėžis
15    Dubysa       131    131        Nemunas        Šiauliai, Ariogala
16    Širvinta      129    129        Šventoji River        Širvintos
17    Švėtė           118    50          Lielupe        Žagarė
18    Šešuvis        115    115         Jūra
19    Kotra River    109    24        Nemunas
20    Mituva        102    102        Nemunas        Jurbarkas
21    Bartuva        101    55        Baltic Sea        Skuodas

The Virvyčia (99.7 km) is just shy of the 100 km limit. The length of the Žeimena is an object of discussion; it could be up to 114 km.
Note: length in Lithuania also includes the length of rivers when they serve as borders with neighboring countries.