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Tovdalselva or Topdalselva river is 145 kilometres long and is one of the longest rivers in Southern Norway. The river flows from the northeast to the southwest and reaches the sea at the Tofdalsfjorden between Hamresanden and Kjevik. The upper reaches of the river include many lakes such as the Herefossfjorden and the Straumsfjorden.

It drains about 1,800 square kilometres in territory and the highest point is 1,101 metres above sea level. The drainage basin includes parts or all of the following municipalities: Fyresdal, Valle, Bygland, Evje and Hornnes, Åmli, Froland, Grimstad, Birkenes, Iveland, Lillesand, and Kristiansand.

Tovdalselva was long considered one of the greatest salmon fishing rivers in the land. From 1880 to 1883 it was Norway´s third most productive salmon river calculated both by weight and by value of the salmon caught.

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