- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
108

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
But there cannot be room for all the quantity of fish
in this bay, and a great number of them must certainly
migrate in the autumn farther out into the Arctic
Ocean and spread along its coasts, which one is in
the habit of regarding as somewhat empty of fish.
The fishermen of Yenisei Bay distinguish, for instance,
between the omul which keeps to the bay through
the winter, and that which begins to come in from the
sea about July 23. The sea omul is much fatter, and
is lighter in colour and more silvery.
Many of the Yenisei fish attain a considerable size ;
sturgeon, for instance, may weigh as much as 200 to
220 Ibs., but as a rule they are a good deal less ; most
of those I saw on the trip were scarcely above 50 or
60 Ibs. The longest nyelma I saw was 3 feet 6J inches
in length.
Other kinds of fish, such as the elops, a small
kind of sturgeon (Acipenser ruthenus, Lin.), the chir,
and others seem to keep to the river all the year
round, since, as a rule, they are not caught near its
mouth.
Sturgeon and nyelma begin to go up the Yenisei
as soon as the ice opens in the spring, at the end of
May or beginning of June. Soon after the muksun
and seld follow—they are expected to pass Golchikha
about June 25 or 26—and after them comes the omul
about July 23 ; at the time wc were at the Nosonovski
Islands omul was the fish that was most caught. As
the water of the Yenisei carries a quantity of plankton
of different kinds in summer, the fish find food during
their migration up the river, and thus they keep fat
until, after spawning, they go out again.
During the voyage up the Yenisei I measured a
number of fish of the various kinds, and collected
their scales. It will be remembered that the scales
108

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