The Sheksna is a river in Belozersky, Kirillovsky, Sheksninsky, and Cherepovetsky Districts of Vologda Oblast in Russia, and it is a left tributary of the Volga. The Sheksna river, which connects the Rybinsk reservoir and the White Lake, consists of three parts: the upper Sheksna (52 km long), the Sheksna reservoir (66 km) and the Lower Sheksna (68 km).
The upper Sheksna and the Sheksna Reservoir are separated from the lower Sheksna by a dam at the hydroelectric power station.
According to the Max Vasmer's Etymological Dictionary, the origin of the name of the river is unclear, but it may originate from a Finnic language meaning "a woodpecker" or more specific "a spotted woodpecker". Another theory suggests that the name of the river is also derived from Finnish, but means “the sedge-covered tributary”; sedge is a grass-like plant. The urban-type settlement of Sheksna and Sheksninsky District are named after the river.
The original construction of the Mariinsk Waterway did not interfere with the course of the Sheksna. However, subsequent modifications made it necessary to straighten the riverbed and build a new network of locks.
The construction of the Volga Baltic Canal led to considerable widening and deepening of the river, which also resulted in flooding of extensive areas of forest. The part of the river between Cherepovets and Rybinsk disappeared when the Rybinsk Reservoir was constructed between 1935 and 1947. Currently, the only natural stretch of the course of the Sheksna is located between the urban-type settlement of Sheksna and the city of Cherepovets.
The district of Sheksna is situated in the vicinity of consumption markets of Moscow and St.Petersburg, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The centre of the district is the settlement of Sheksna. Thanks to its advantageous location the district of Sheksna is an investor magnet in the spheres ranging from industry to agriculture to food industry to tourism.
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