- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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{Stenodus leucichthys) fishery ; this is a very good fish,
and differs little from the highly esteemed white
salmon or nelma {Stenodus leucichthys nelma) of the
north Russian and Siberian rivers falling into the
Arctic Sea. It is found mostly in the north of the
Caspian ; to some extent it goes up the Volga in late
autumn and winter, but the main body begins to
migrate later in the winter or at the very first
melting of the ice. It comes far up the Kama in
great numbers, as far as Vishera and Ufa, to spawn
there at the end of September and in October.
after a migration of 2,700-2,800 kilometres. After
spawning, most of the fish go back to the sea ; but
now they are extremely thin, for they eat very
little throughout their journey in the river. Many,
especially the female fish, do indeed perish from
exhaustion. The white salmon can reach a length
of 1 10 centimetres and a weight of 16 kilogrammes.
It reaches maturity when five to six years old, and
is then 70-90 centimetres long, and now starts on
its migration up the rivers. A female fish lays about
170,000 eggs. Of late years 2-10 millions of fry
are artificially hatched out. The white salmon
fishery is of no small value; this is so especially
because of its fat, well-tasting, and boneless meat,
and also because the fishery is mainly carried on in
the winter, when the fish keeps well. Before the war
the yearly catch on the lower Volga was 35,000
-50,000 fish, that is, 280-410 tons. For comparison
wc may state that here in Norway the salmon and
salmon-trout fishery along the whole of our long
coast and in the rivers yields 570-1,150 tons a year.

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