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(Rutilus mtilus caspicus), a fish of the carp family. Inhabits the Caspian Sea, forming several populations, including the North Caspian, Kura, and Turkmen. Length reaches 30 cm but is usually 17-20 cm; weight, up to 800 g, but more often 150-200 g.
The roach travels up rivers in order to spawn, moving from the northern part of the Caspian chiefly into the Volga, and in lesser amounts into the Terek, Ural, and Emba rivers. The fish spawns in April-May, with the female laying up to 33,000 eggs. The adult Caspian roach feeds chiefly on mollusks but also on crustaceans, midge larvae, and vegetation. It is a valuable commercial fish and is consumed in salted, smoked, and sun-cured forms. The roach population has been reduced because of the disruption of breeding conditions and the deterioration of wintering and feeding conditions, caused by the drop in the Caspian Sea level.
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Berg, L. S. Ryby presnykh vod SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, 4th ed., part 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Monastyrskii, G. N. “Kaspiiskaia vobla.” Promyslovye ryby SSSR: Opisanie ryb. Moscow, 1949.
Vobla Severnogo Kaspiia, parts 1-2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939-40. (Collection of articles.)
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A. A. SVETOVIDOVA