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Baikal fish: list, description

The largest freshwater lake on our planet is Baikal. Its depth reaches 1637 meters, and the age of this unique reservoir, according to scientists, is more than twenty-five million years.

Among the researchers of the lake there is a hypothesis that Baikal is the future ocean: it has no signs of aging, its banks are constantly expanding. The only river flowing from Lake Baikal is the Angara, the length of which is 1,799 kilometers. The source of the Angara is the widest (863 m) and large on the Earth.

Baikal fish is known not only in Siberia, the glory of it has long crossed the borders of our country. Her taste is made up of legends. Smoked or smoked omul is a traditional gift that Siberians bring to their friends in many cities of Russia. Once having tasted dishes from Baikal fish, most travelers plan the next trip to Baikal to again enjoy the magnificent nature and to taste the smoked whitefish, grilled grayling and the smell of smoked omul and dried golomyanka.

Baikal Nature Reserve

To preserve the unique nature of Lake Baikal in 1969, a biosphere reserve was founded here, which is located on the eastern shore of the lake. It occupies a vast territory - in 167 871 hectares of the Khamar-Daban mountain range. The borders of the Baikal Reserve pass along the rivers Mishikha and Vydrinaya. The mountains surrounding Lake Baikal are a natural barrier from air currents, which carry an intensive precipitation.

The reserve preserves hundreds of unique species of flora and fauna. Rare representatives of the underwater world is famous for the Baikal Reserve. There are twelve species of fish in it. Basically it is lenok, taimen and grayling. These species enter the rivers during spawning, and at the end of summer they return to Baikal again, where they winter.

Types of Baikal fish

And there are more than fifty species of fish in Baikal (including protected areas). Only fifteen are classified as fishing. The most famous of them are grayling, whitefish and omul. In a smaller quantity, such valuable Baikal fish as Baikal sturgeon, taimen, burbot and lenok are common. In addition, in the lake live perch, ide, soroga.

According to the latest data, the total fish biomass in the lake is about two hundred and thirty thousand tons, including sixty thousand tons of commercial fish. To increase the number of valuable fish species in Irkutsk, LLC "Baikal fish" was created, the activity of which will be described later.

Below, we will present you a list of the most common species of Baikal fish:

  • Taymen;
  • Flax;
  • omul;
  • Arctic char;
  • whitefish;
  • grayling;
  • pike;
  • ide;
  • bream
  • Siberian fucker;
  • minnow;
  • Siberian roach;
  • gudgeon;
  • Crucian carp;
  • tench;
  • Amur sazan;
  • Siberian char;
  • Amur Som;
  • Siberian pinching;
  • burbot;
  • Rotolock-rotan;
  • 27 species of shovel;
  • Golomyanka;
  • Yellow-winged.

Let's get acquainted with some species in more detail.


This lake is cold-water fish that spawns and lives in Baikal. The population is represented by lake-river and lake forms, which have the status of subspecies. They differ in the number of gill rakers, perforated scales located in the lateral line. The fish of the Bikkal lake form has from twenty five to thirty five gill rakers. These fish, as a rule, spawn in Baikal.

Sig-pyzhyan - a river form, which has significantly fewer stamens, a maximum of twenty-four. In Lake Baikal, as well as its tributaries, this fish is the gateway, it spends life in permanent migrations. Nerestitsya usually in the rivers, 250 km from the mouth, and walks in the waters of Lake Baikal. Unlike its lake relatives, it has a fairly low body and a closely fitting scales.

Shig is distributed practically throughout the lake, but its greatest concentration is recorded in the Barguzinsky and Chivyrkuysky bays, in the Selenga shallow waters and in the Lesser Sea. Often it occurs in the pre-estuary of the Upper Angara and Kichera rivers. Shig prefers shallow waters with sandy soil. Representatives of the lake-river form live deeper than twenty meters. In winter, they sink at a depth of 150 m, and in summer and spring - at 40-50 meters.

The average weight of a five-year-old is 500 grams, a seven-year-old sig still weighs one and a half kilograms, and by 15 years the weight of fish can reach 5 kg. Fishermen claim that they managed to catch sigov weighing more than 10 kg. Shig is a valuable Baikal fish, the fishery of which, according to scientists, now needs to be reduced, especially during spawning. To increase its number, it is necessary to breed artificially with the obligatory growth of juveniles. This process takes into account the environmental characteristics of all stages of development.


Baikal fish omul is represented in the lake by five populations:

  • The embassy;
  • Selenga;
  • Chivyrkuyskaya;
  • North-Baikal;
  • Barguzinskaya.

Before you reach the lake, you will meet the most famous and delicious representative of the omul - the northern Baikal. It can be seen in all outlets in cities, railway stations, small towns. During the journey, locals will offer you dried and salted omul, and when you get to the lake you can see the freshly harvested omul.

Baikal omul is a fish belonging to the genus of whitefish, the family of Salmonids. Once a huge and extremely popular inhabitant of Lake Baikal, today has significantly decreased in size, and, unfortunately, is on the verge of extinction. The length of his body today does not exceed fifty centimeters with a weight of three kilograms.

The most popular among tourists, as, indeed, the local residents enjoy - the omul of cold smoked. This is really a real delicacy, not only in our country, but also abroad. This valuable Baikal fish, whose meat has a very special taste, which can not be confused with another. It is very tender and fat. With proper preparation, he has an unusual taste, for which he is appreciated. Most tourists who first tasted this perfection, say that they did not eat anything more delicious in their life.

Security measures

This Baikal fish, due to too intensive catching, catastrophically reduces the number of populations. Over the past fifty years, about forty thousand quintals of this fish were caught. For this reason, in 1982, a special omul catching program was developed and adopted, which made it possible to calculate reserves, and develop methods for rational fishing. In recent years, the omul has been increasingly used to incubate. We hope that thanks to security activities this Baikal fish, the photo of which you can see below, will be preserved and its population will increase.


Baikal grayling white is a subspecies of Siberian grayling. In the lake, this Baikal fish lives near the shore, most often found in the eastern part, where the depth does not exceed thirty meters. For spawning, grayling prefers shoals with a pebble-sand bottom or ruts. Spawning begins at the end of April and lasts until mid-May. At this time, the water temperature ranges from +7.5 to +14.6 ° C.

During the mating season graylings change color: the body of males acquires a dark gray, with a metallic outflow of color. Above the pelvic fins, copper-red spots appear on the dorsal fin. The upper edge of the dorsal fin is decorated with a dark red rim. The development of caviar of this species lasts about seventeen days.


This is the oldest and largest fish in Baikal Kamchatka. The first information about it can be found in the reports of Nikolai Spafary and the archpriest Avvakum, who visited a wonderful lake at the very beginning of the 17th century. IG Gmelin (1751) pointed out the enormous number of sturgeon in it when he described his journey through Siberia. IG Georgi - a famous naturalist researcher - at the end of the 17th century described in detail in his notes a sturgeon that lives in the lake, as well as fishing for this fish in the Selenga River.

AG Yegorov studied many years of Baikal sturgeon. He did a great job of researching the mouths of rivers, bays, describing its abundance, distribution, biology, and also fishing in various parts of the lake. The famous Russian writer VP Astafyev called him "the king-fish."

Sturgeon is the only representative of cartilaginous fishes in Lake Baikal. Its color varies from pale brown to dark brown, the belly is always significantly lighter. Along the whole body there are five rows of special bone bugs, and between them - small bone plates, having a different shape. The caudal fin, more precisely, its upper lobe, is noticeably longer than the lower one.

Where is the sturgeon distributed?

The most common sturgeon in the delta of the Selenga River, in the gulfs of Lake Baikal. It lives at a depth of fifty meters. In autumn, during strong winds, it can go to a depth of 150 meters. It hibernates in the estuaries of large rivers, in pits. In a year this fish grows on average by 5-7 cm. The adult specimen reaches a meter and more in length with a weight of 100 kg. The Baikal sturgeon is listed in the Red Data Books of the Russian Federation and Buryatia as a rare species.

Sorcerous fish

On the large and small rivers "well-known fish in Siberia" came to the lake : perches and pikes, jazzy and dace, sorghum and crucian carp, however, the deep Baikal did not take them, since there are other depths, other fodder, different temperature. These fish have taken root in litter - on the shallow bays of Lake Baikal, and taimeni and lanki have got into the lake along the large tributaries of Lake Baikal and they can be found in the mouths of rivers.

Inhabitants of freshwater depths

About twenty million years ago, cottoid fishes began to penetrate rivers, trying to adapt to the freshwater lifestyle. On the rivers they also got to Baikal. First they settled in shallow water, then - deep-water areas, and also the thickness of water. Today in the rivers and lakes of Eurasia, including the islands of Japan, there are 14 species of cottoid fish, and in Baikal there are 33 species.

The majority (84%) of cottoid fishes of Baikal live on the bottom. Often they just "sit" on the ground. They can even be touched by hand and only in this case they "jump off" by forty to eighty centimeters and then freeze again, dropping onto the ground.

Some species of bottom fish prefer to be buried in sand or silt so that only round eyes can be seen above the surface of the soil. Often these fishes are found under stones (they are often called stumpers), in burrows, in cracks. In 1977, researchers from the scientific submarine "Pikes", saw at a depth of 800 m a red broad-brow. She dug in the silt hole, which climbed, put forward only the head, and attacked, passing by its cover, crustaceans, amphipods.


Baikal fish, caught at great depth, have the most diverse color. Coastal species, as a rule, have gray or gray-green scales, and dark spots are clearly visible on the sides of the trunk. Occasionally there are fish, painted in an unusual emerald green color. With increasing depth, the coloring of underwater inhabitants changes to gray with red stripes, pink, pearl-gray, brown, orange.


Despite the interesting features of all cottoid fishes, the most unique of them should be recognized as a golomyanka. This is the largest population in the lake. Its total biomass is almost twice that of all other fish that live in Lake Baikal. It is more than one hundred and fifty thousand tons. This is a viviparous fish that does not spawn: it produces live fry.

In Baikal live two species of this fish - large and small. Both of them occur at different depths, right down to the bottom. Golomyanka, in addition to zooplankton, eat their offspring. And even so, the annual growth of this fish is about one hundred and fifty thousand tons. In other words, within one year it updates the population completely.

It is impossible to organize industrial catching on a golomyanka because it is dispersed over long distances and is a food for the Baikal seal and omul. The largest representatives of the species reach 25 cm in length (females), males - 15 cm.

LLC "Baikal fish"

At the beginning of this article, we talked about the creation of this company for the artificial reproduction of fish resources of Baikal in 2009. She carries out fish farming on the basis of the Belsky and Burduguz hatcheries.

Thanks to the activities of this organization in the reservoirs of the Irkutsk region, and in Lake Baikal, including, annually produced juvenile fry of such especially valuable fish species as grayling, sturgeon, omul, peled and others.

Since 2011, more than forty million pieces of juvenile fish have been released to various reservoirs and republics of Buryatia, the Trans-Baikal Territory, and the Irkutsk Region.

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