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a city, the center of Zaisan Raion, Vostochnyi Kazakhstan Oblast, Kazakh SSR. It is located on a highway in the foothills of the Saur mountain range, 378 km southeast of the Zhangiztobe railroad station (on the Semipalatinsk-Alma-Ata line). Population, 12,000 (1970). Zaisan is the center of a major stock-breeding region, primarily of sheep for meat and wool. Zaisan was founded in 1868 and has been a city since 1941.
a lake in the intermontane depression between spurs of the Southern Altai, Tarbagatai, and Saur mountain ranges in the east of the Kazakh SSR. It is a fresh-water lake; the Chernyi Irtysh flows into it and the Irtysh flows from it. Prior to the construction of the Bukhtarma Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Irtysh, the area of the lake was 1,800 sq km, the length was 11 1 km, the width was about 30 km, and the depth averaged 4–6 m (the deepest point was approximately 10 m). Since the construction of the dam, Zaisan Lake has been its pressure head, which also extends along the Chernyi Irtysh for 100 km; the level of Zaisan has been raised by 7 m. The surface area of the lake constitutes the greater part of the surface area of the Bukhtarma Reservoir, which is 5,500 sq km. There is a fish hatchery on the lake.