Volga Herring

Volga Herring

 

in Russian, Volzhskaia sel’d’ (Alosa [Caspialosa] kessleri volgensis), a fish of the family Clupeidae. It inhabits the Caspian Sea and spawns in rivers, mainly in the Volga but also in the Ural River. The Volga herring swims up the Volga to the dam at the Volgograd Hydroelectric Power Plant; some of the fish transfer to the Volgograd Reservoir by means offish ladders. Formerly the Volga herring swam up the river to Kuibyshev, and a small portion swam up as far as Gorky. The fish measures up to 39 cm long (average is 28 cm) and weighs up to 600 g (average is 250 g). Spawning takes place in May and June. The roe is pelagic, and development of the fertilized fish eggs takes place while they are carried by the current (this usually lasts 40-45 hours). In some years a small number of fish deposit their eggs before the mouth of the Volga; the major spawning place, in the lower reaches of the river, is from the mouth as far as Volgograd. The Volga herring feeds on crustaceans and fish. It is a valuable commercial fish, and its numbers are decreasing because of worsening breeding conditions.

A. A. SVETOVIDOVA

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