- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
109

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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NOSONOVSKI PESOK AND THE SAMOYEDES
109
grow every year, and the yearly rings thus shown are
broad or narrow, according as the fish has grown
much or little ; it is therefore possible, by examining
the scales, to determine the age of the fish and obtain
information of its growth and conditions of life in the
different years.
The scales I collected show that the fish of the
Yenisei grow comparatively slowly, but reach a great
age. This seems to confirm the general conclusion
arrived at by Dr. Knut Dahl,* that freshwater fish
living in northern Arctic conditions grow more slowly,
but, on the other hand, live much longer than those
whose habitat is farther south. A nyelma, 3 feet
6J inches long, was eighteen winters old, while another,
20| inches long, was nine winters old.f Muksun,
21J inches, was sixteen winters old, and shorter ones
were younger in proportion. Omul, 15 inches long, was
ten winters old. The sig, which does not go out to sea,
had less marked yearly rings ; a fish 14| inches long
seemed to be about seventeen winters. The seld was
younger ; when 9f inches it was six winters old, and the
smaller ones were younger in proportion.
That fish grow slowly in a river is to be expected,
as the running water cannot very well carry much food,
although the turbid Yenisei is relatively favourable in
this respect. All the fish there are very fat in spite of
their slow growth. The great age of the fish seems to
show that the fishing is not excessive in proportion to
the quantity of fish that annually goes up the river,
as otherwise the average age would soon be reduced ;
* Dr. Knut Dahl has shown me the great kindness of photographing
the scales for me ; it may be hoped that he will also describe them
elsewhere.
f According to V. Isachenko, its roe is not developed until it has
reached a length of 19£ in. It may then be expected to be about
seven years old.

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