The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Altynkol’ or Zolotoe), a lake in the northeastern part of the Mountains, in Altai Krai, RSFSR.

Teletskoe Lake is situated in a tectonic basin between the Altyntu and Korbu ranges, at an elevation of 436 m. It has an area of 223 sq km and is 77.7 km long and up to 5.2 km wide. The average depth is 174 m, and the maximum depth, 325 m. The lake basin consists of two parts: the southern, meridional part, which is about 48 km long, and the northern, latitudinal part, which is 30 km long. The two parts are divided by an underwater ridge, which is 2.3 km long and 0.6–0.8 km wide and rises to 211 m above the bottom. The lake bottom is covered with gray silt, except near the shores, where it is rocky. The lake is surrounded by mountains, which are 800–1,300 m high to the north and 1,900–2,400 m high to the south. The shores are steep and rocky.

As many as 70 rivers empty into the Teletskoe Lake; among the major rivers are the Chulyshman, Kyga, Kokshi, and Bol’shaia Chili. The Biia River flows out of the lake. The lake is fed primarily by snow (about 50 percent) and rain (35 percent). Rivers provide 97 percent of the water intake (the Chulyshman provides 70 percent), and precipitation provides 3 percent. Evaporation accounts for 2 percent of the annual water loss, and drainage into the Biia River accounts for about 98 percent. The average annual fluctuation of the water level in the lake is 358 cm. The highest levels are reached in late May and early June. The water is fresh and rich in oxygen and is transparent down to 6–14 m. In summer the surface water temperature is as high as 17°–18°C (in the southern portion, up to 19°–24°C). At depths below 100 m, the temperature ranges from 2.7° to 4.0°C. In winter the water cools to 2.3°C, even at the bottom. The latitudinal part of the lake freezes in November, and the meridional part in January; in some years the lake does not freeze. It opens up in late April or early May. The freeze-up is not stable. There are two predominant winds on Teletskoe Lake. The verkhovka, a south wind that produces waves up to 2 m high, is usually accompanied by clear weather. The nizovka is a north wind that brings inclement weather.

Teletskoe is one of the most beautiful lakes in the USSR. Situated on its shores are the settlements of Artybash and Iogach (with a tourist center) and the settlement of Iailiu, 26 km from the mouth of the Biia, which has the Teletskoe Lake Station and the central farm of the Altai Preserve. There is sports fishing for grayling, Lake Teletskoe whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus pidschian natio smitti Warpachowski), Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis), and taimen on the lake.


Lepneva, S. G. “Termika, prozrachnost’, tsvet i khimizm vody Teletskogo ozera.” In Issledovaniia ozer SSSR, fasc. 9. Leningrad-Moscow, 1937.
Selegei, V. V., and T. S. Selegei. Teletskoeo zero. Leningrad, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.