The size and area of the lake change with the season, raning from nearly 600km2 in the rain season to 370 in the summer. In autumn waters flood almost completely the large forest that grows along its shores and becomes thick and impenetrable especially where the Moraca, the lake's major affluent, enters the basin. Seen from above, the forest looks like a long dense brown-greenish tonguewedget among the blue waters of the lake.
The lake hosts over 270 bird species, including some which are now rare in Europe such as the Dalmatian pelican or the grey heron, which has decided to nest on a little island covered by legendary laurel trees.
Skadar Lake is an alien world formed by microscopic algae floating in the water or resting on its bottom which support almost the entire food chain of the lake. Research has ascertained the presence of no less than 842 species of algae subdivided in 166 genera. These algae play a very important role, giving the waters their crystal clearness and allowing light to reach a considerable depth. In Lake Skadar, at about 90 meters of depth, which is to say about 40 meters below sea level, is the Radus spring, a major „Karst resurgence“ with an amazing output. Bus Radus is not the only spring: the total runs to about 50, which help supply the lake with cold water. The fishermen know the springs well and call them okos, eyes, because in winter to get an incredible catch it is enough to drop the nets around them.
Beside the natural heritage, the shores of Lake Skadar have a number of fishermen towns and villages that deserve a visit. Continuing along the coastal road, the alndscape is dotted with narrow inlets and wonderful fjord which make this corner of the Balkans resemble Scandinavia.
The village of Rijeka Crnojevica, with its triple-arched bridge and the characteristic mill, overlooks a fjord; the nearby Virpazar and Ostros are almost on the border with Albania. A visit ti the pebbly beach of Murici is also mandatory. During the spring and summer, little typical restaurants tempt the visitor to stop and bathe in a place that looks in every respect like a sea scenery. On the nearby islands, easily reached with the boats which fishermen are happy to make available, are a couple of marvellous Orthodox monasteries from the 15th and 16th centuries.