- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
227

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THE VOLGA
227
the Volga delta to spawn; the main body spawns
about the end of May or in June in the fresh water
off the delta, or in the many limans or cut-offs on
its west side. The yearly catch of this herring is
about 130 millions, or 17,500 tons. The other
variefes of herrings in the Caspian are of less
importance for the fisheries. There is also a species
like the brisling (Harengula delicatula) that spawns in
or off the Volga delta at the end of April and the
beginning ofMay. It has not been fished, but perhaps
will be used for preserving at some time in the future.
An interesting fish, which is also caught in the
Volga, is the Caspian lamprey (Caspiomyzon wagneri).
This lowly eel-like fish with a sucker-mouth lives
mostly on the bottom and in the mud, and goes
up the Volga from the sea from September to
December; after swimming 2,000-2,400 kilometres
up the river it spawns in April to May. It is caught
in a kind of eel-basket, and was formerly used for
cattle-feed or melting down the fat; it is now
usually baked or pickled. The yearly catch is about
20-30 millions, weighing 1,140-2,130 tons.
Of no little importance are the true fresh-water
fishes, that is, above all, carp, sheat-fish (or wels),
pike, and perch, which are found throughout the
Volga and its tributaries in many varieties, and are
fished over a great distance. As opposed to the
sturgeons, which are called "red" or "splendid"
fish, they are called "white" fish because of their
white meat. A peculiar biological group of these
species of fishes is found in the Volga delta, and
sometimes also in the brackish water in the Caspian

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