- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
185

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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EXCURSIONS IN DAGHESTAN
185
them. There was undoubtedly a lot of oil; it
gushed up also at many spots, so that the ground
was quite soaked with it ; but to one who is not an
expert it looked, perhaps, as though they had not
succeeded yet in finding the right places where the
oil should flow in abundance. Evidently what was
needed was a methodical geological survey of the
whole ground, so as to bring to light where the
faults in the strata give rise to the heaviest oil
deposits and then make borings there.
After looking at several springs and borings wc
drove on towards the coast, and came to one of
the large fishing-stations whence fishing is carried
on, especially at certain seasons ; the most important
being the herring fishery. There were great barracks
for the fishermen, great sheds with salting-rooms for
the herrings, administrative buildings, boats, and
so on. Everything had been destroyed during the
war, partly by the Russian White troops under
Denikin, partly by the English who had fought
against the Bolsheviks, and partly by the Turks;
they had all been here in turn. The destruction had
now been to some extent repaired.
Wc saw the different kinds of salted herrings,
some of them bigger than any herrings I have
ever seen. Wc also tasted them; they are highly
salted, but seemed to be fat and good. This was
evidently the large Caspian herring, the black
back {Caspialosa kessleri), which is found in the
deeper waters in the middle part of the Caspian,
and in the early spring goes up the rivers, especially
the Volga, to spawn. It can be half a metre long

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