- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
219

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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OVER THE CASPIAN TO ASTRAKHAN
219
fry are put yearly into the Volga. The yearly catch
in the Volga and in the Caspian near the delta is
about 600,000 fish, weighing 2,500 to 3,300 tons.
It is this kind that yields the best salted caviare
(payusnaya) .
There is another sturgeon to be mentioned: the
sterkt (Acipenser ruthenus), which is found all along
the Volga from the delta as far as its upper waters ;
it is, however, altogether a freshwater fish. It is
smaller than the other kinds of sturgeon, sometimes
reaching a length of one metre and a weight of
16 kilogrammes; but usually the fish caught are
about 35 to 55 centimetres. It is highly thought of
as the finest fish in the Volga, and måkes the
celebrated ukha (fish-soup) ; it is also served whole,
boiled, baked, cold, smoked, and in other ways.
About 32 millions are caught every year along
the whole river. The caviare is smaller than in
the other kinds of sturgeon, and is not sent away,
but eaten on the spot quite fresh.
After this Comrade Shvedov, vice-president of the
executive committee, took us over the Volga in a
small steamboat; there was a lively traffic of ships
and boats, fishing-boats, steamers, and lighters with
tugs. Wc were tåken to a place on the right bank
of the river where there were great long fishing
sheds which were regular ice-houses. They have
double walls, and the space between is filled right
up to the roof with ice in winter. This ice melts
slowly in the summer, and keeps these great rooms
so cold that many of us were frozen when wc came
in from the heat outside, and wc did not stay long.

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