- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
228

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
228
just off the delta. In the delta they are called "pit
fish", because in the winter they He low in "pits"
or deeps of 4-5 metres in the arms of the delta
near its mouth. These fishes, which have had
plenty of food in the summer, swarm together in
huge numbers in these "pits", the big fish such as
the sheat-fish (Silurus glanis) deepest and in the
middle, the roach at the side, and the carp and
bream between them. As, owing to the water’s low
winter temperature (nearly o° C), metabolism is
slow, they He in a kind of torpid state. Luckily
these places are strictly preserved in winter, other
wise the fishermen, who know the places exactly,
would easily destroy every single fish. A proof of
this was seen during the Revolution in 191 7, when
all this area was so fished out that it was five to six
years before the stock of fish could renew itself in
some degree, and in the first years after this the fish
had nearly disappeared. In the early spring the fish
wake, and come up from the pits into the nearest
parts of the delta, spawning among the reeds in
the flooded land of the lower delta. After now
Hving on the rich food here, later on with the
growing volume of fresh water they move up to
1 00 kilometres out into the sea, and towards autumn
they again make for the delta. The yearly catch of
these fish in the Volga delta is about as follows:
carp 13,000 tons, bream 19,000, sheat-fish 4,000,
pike-perch (sudak, Lucioperca lucioperca) 20,000,
blick (Blicca bjorkna) 8,500, and rudd (Aspius
aspius) 1,200 tons; that is, altogether 65,700 tons.
Mention must also be made of the white salmon

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