Grayling (Latin name: Thymallus Thymallus) (Grayling)
Grayling is belong to Salmoniformes family of 6 species, including the arctic grayling. An adult grayling is typically 30 cm in length, but specimens can grow up to 60 cm. The arctic grayling have a distinctive long, sail-like dorsal fin with 17 to 24 rays. Some dorsal fins look like tails, often brightly colored. Graylings have spectacular dorsal fins which they raise and lower like a sail. Grayling is the common fish in fresh water of moderate and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Urals there are two species of grayling: the European one in rivers of the  Pechora Basin and Siberian one in rivers of the Lyapin River. Grayling are one of the most colorful and beautiful fish of Russia.



The fish back is gray-green, dotted with more or less numerous and distinct black spots, the fish sides  are pale gray with longitudinal stripes. The paired dirty orange pectoral fins  are located on each side. Unpaired fins are purple with dark stripes or spots. Grayling from different rivers can be very different in color.


Grayling and brook trout are the main fish population of cold and rapid mountain rivers flowing throughout Europe, northern and northeastern Russia and  Siberia. Grayling prefer to live in clean fresh water.


Grayling is the main fish population in mountain rivers of the Polar Urals.  There are a lot of grayling in the upper reaches of the rivers of Shchugor, Kos’yu and Big Synya. Grayling reach the upper reaches in the mid-summer, when the water in lower reaches of rivers is getting too warm. As usual, large grayling (1.5-2 kg) inhabit colder tributaries . Rapids and fast-flowing rapids are the best places to catch grayling. If you dream to catch a big Siberian grayling then the best time is in the period from June to September .

Common or Siberian taimen (Latin name: Hucho taimen)
Siberian Taimen is the largest representative of the Salmonidae family. Trout can reach 60-80 kg and 1.5-2 meters in length.


Common taimen lives in fresh water: rivers and flowing cold-water lakes, and never goes into the sea. It is found in the vast territory of Russia: from the Ural region (basins of the rivers of Pechora and Kama) to the eastern border of the South Yakutia and the Far East (Yana river, Aldan, Uda, Tugur, Amur and their tributaries). A lot of taimen is in the Lyapin River (Sub-Polar Urals) and its right mountain tributaries. The taimen is a predator, feeding on smaller fishes. During the spawning period (April-May), almost all the body becomes copper red.  



The taimen is a predator. It can be caught with a fly, worm/grasshopper and with a spinner. As a rule it bites well and very often upstream the rapids and at the confluence of tributaries. During the day the taimen can be found only in deep holes under sunken trees. In the early morning and before sunset the taimen likes hunting small fishes in the shallows.
Taimen in the Ural Federal Okrug (URFO) are listed as endangered species. The catching of this fish is prohibited.

Arctic char (Latin name: Salvelinus alpinus) is freshwater migratory fish of the Salmonidae family, inhabiting lakes and coastal waters.


Arctic char is large silver fish (up to 88 cm long and up to 15 kg in weight) with dark blue back and sides covered with big bright red or orange spots. In rivers arctic char becomes darker; the back becomes greenish-brown; sides become brownish with silvery tint and numerous red or orange spots.  Arctic char belly is usually gray-white, only during the spawning season it becomes bright red or orange; throat is white or orange; pectoral, pelvic and anal fins are pink or red; only front-rays are usually milky-white.
The habitat area of the arctic char is spread along the Arctic Circle. The migratory arctic char spawns in  rivers of Iceland, Norway and Murmansk, Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya, Canada, Alaska and Greenland. Along the Siberian coast the arctic char go for spawning into Ob, Yenisei, and Pyasina rivers. Such distribution of the arctic char is called circumpolar. The habitat of some arctic char species, relics of the ice age, spreads further to the south. They are found in alpine lakes, the basin of Lake Baikal, and rivers flowing into the Gulf of Peter the Great.  In addition, the arcrtic char is in the Pacific, where it is called malma. Systematics of the char is still under discussion. Some researchers consider it as an individual species (Salvelinus malma). In the Pacific region, it is found along the Asian and American coasts up to the Amur River mouth and California, correspondingly. Throughout the vast area it inhabits a variety of water bodies and it is presented by a variety of species: migratory, lake-river and lake. The dwarf male species.
The spawning period lasts from the fall to early winter; and some fish species, probably in spring. The arctic char first begin to spawn at the age of 4-6 years.
Not all chars migrate to the sea waters. Most of them spawn in lakes and streams and feed in big rivers.  Lakes and river chars are smaller than migratory species (35-45 cm). They are characterized by  a number of morphological signs. They feed mainly fish, molluscs and insect larvae.
Relic fish populations are listed in the Red Book of Russia.

Common pike (Latin name: Esox lucius)
The pike can be  1.5 m in length and 35 kg in weight (usually up to 1 m and 8 kg). The body shape is torpedo-like; big head, wide mouth. Depending on the environment,  the pike varies in color.


Depending on the character and level of development of the vegetation the pike can be gray-greenish, yellowish-gray, gray-brown; back can be darker; sides can be covered with large brown or olive spots that form transverse stripes. Unpaired fins are yellowish-gray with dark brown spots; paired fins are orange. The pike is a predator and feeds mainly fish. Some lakes are inhabited by silver pikes.
Male and female pikes can be distinguished in the shape of  the urogenital opening.  The male pike has the  elongated narrow urogenital opening; that of the female pike looks like oval depression surrounded by a pink roll.


The pike body has an elongated arrow-like shape. Head is elongated, the protruding lower jaw. Their front teeth are like small spikes, used for catching and holding, then their pharyngeal teeth are used for mashing, before swallowing. The teeth on the lower jaw are of different sizes and are used to capture prey. The teeth on the other bones of the mouth are smaller,  ends of sharp teeth directed into the throat, teeth can be submerged into the mucosa. Owing to these peculiarities, a prey passes easily into a throat, and if it tries to escape, the pharyngeal teeth capture a prey.
Scale is small, not less than 100 in the lateral line. Pikes are common in the fresh waters of North America (three species: maskinonge, striped pike and redfin pike) and Eurasia; in Russia are two species: northern pike and Amur pike. These pike species live up to 60-70 years.

Common perch or freshwater perch (Latin name: Perca fluviatilis L.)
Perca fluviatilis is commonly known as the European perch, perch, red fin perch, or English perch, a predatory species of perch found in Europe and Asia.


The features of this fish species:  bristly teeth, sit on the palatine bones and vomers, a tongue without teeth, two dorsal fins (the first fin with 13 or 14 rays), anal fin with 2 spines, prebranchial and preorbital bones, small scale, smooth head, 7 branchiostegal rays, more than 24 vertebrae, opercula with 1 spine,  cheeks are covered with scales. There are three species of this fish in freshwater (and partly brackish) waters of the northern temperate zone.
The common perch has dark-green back, yellowish belly, greenish-yellow sides with 5 - 9 dark stripes; sometimes there are dark irregular spots instead of stripes, red and yellow pectoral fins, red to reddish pelvic and anal fins (from top to bottom). The first dorsal fin is gray with a black spot, the second one with a greenish-yellow spot. The perch varies greatly in color, depending on the color of the ground. In addition, during the spawning period coloring of mature specimens is much brighter (spawning dress).
The female fish does not differ in color from the male one. The shape of the perch body varies significantly as well. There exist perches with very high body with a noticable hump-back. The perch is usually 30 - 35 cm long, sometimes, up to 60-70 cm. Usually, the weight does not exceed 0.9 - 1.3 kg, but there are specimens of 2.2 - 3 kg, rarely up to 3.5 kg.

Ide (Leuciscus idus) or orfe is a freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae found across northern Europe and Asia. The ide is about 70 cm long; weight is up to 8 kg.


The ide looks like a roach and chub. It differs from the roach by smaller scales, from the chub by a higher body, color of the iris and pelvic and anal fins. Ide is found in the rivers of Eurasia, from the Rhine to the Lena, as well as in water bodies of North America. The ide becomes sexually mature at 4-6 years at a length of 25 cm or more. It lays from 11.2 to 245 thousand eggs on the rocks or plants. Juveniles feed on zooplankton and algae, adults - algae, molluscs, insects that fall on the water surface. The ide is a target species of sport fishing.  Yellow-red ide (Orpah) can be raised in water ponds as a decorative fish.

Nelma (white salmon) (Stenodus), the genus of fish whitefish family includes only one species and two subspecies - white salmon and proper nelma, 1.3 m long, weight up to 40 kg.


The nelma is the common fish species in the Arctic Ocean, from Ponoi River mouth to Mackenzie River mouth. Actually, the nelma (Stenodus leucichthys nelma) is quite a big fish with silvery scales. The nelma prefers to live in freshwater rivers, but not in the salt water and estuarine  systems. In the Siberian rivers white salmon migrates for a distance from  mouths to  upper reaches. It grows very slowly and becomes sexually mature at 8-10 years. Caviar is fine. The nelma has the grayish-green back, much more pale than the white fish. There are 18-24 gill rakers, but usually 20-21. Dorsal fins have to up to 16 rays. Body length is up to 1.4 m, the weight is up to 24 kg.
The nelma (White salmon) inhabit all rivers of the Arctic Ocean. For example, in Ob’ River the habitat area of the Nelma is from the Ob River mouth to the Novosibirsk hydroelectric plant. However, the population is  small everywhere.
The nelma is a predatory. It becomes sexually mature at  9-15 years, reaching 70 cm in length. In the winter time, the nelma (white salmon) is in the Ob and Taz Bays. The nelma is the most numerous in  Ob River in summer and North Sosva in autumn where it comes for spawning and wintering. In other tributaries of  Ob River immatures come only for feeding and wintering.
The nelma (white salmon) can be found usually in places of concentration of young fish. In winter young and immature fish spend the winter at a distance from the oxygen-depleted areas. In spring, when water  is enriched in oxygen,  adult fish and juvenile fish start migrating to Ob River. After feeding in the Ob delta and floodplain immatures migrate into the Ob Bay; mature fish migrate upstream  to the spawning places.

The peled or syrok (Coregonus peled), also called the northern whitefish, is a species of freshwater whitefish in the Salmonidae family.


It is found in northern Eurasia and widespread in the Arctic Ocean, from Mezen’ River to Kolyma River. Due to the high level of adaptability and a rapid rate of growth the peled can easily acclimate in lakes and water reservoirs.
The body of this fish species is high and up to 50 cm long, laterally compressed. The mouth is terminal. There are 75-105 scales along the lateral line and 45-70 gill rakers. The nelma is silver with dark gray back. Planktophage. Lake and lake-river peled can go into river deltas.  

Tugun (Coregunus tugun)
In comparison with other members of the genus the body of the tugun is shorter and more rounded in the cross-section.


The mouth is terminal. In the lateral line are 54-76 easily falling scales (as in some other species of whitefish). There are 26-39 gill rakers. The tugun can be up to 20 cm long.
It lives in the rivers of Siberia from Ob River and its tributaries to Yana River. In North Sos'va River (the Northern Urals) it is called Sosvinskaya herring.
Compared to other white fish species, the tugun inhabiting the waters of Lower Ob River do not migrate for along distance along  Ob River. The tugun is a small white fish. However, owing to its excellent taste the tugun is commercial target species.
The tugun has short life cycle: the majority of the fish become sexually at 2 years. It spawns and feeds in all tributaries of Lower Ob River. In addition, the tugun inhabits the Taz River basin and some rivers of the Yamal. The tugun is found in the Yarato-2 Lake.
Only in North Sos’va River the tugun has commercial value.
The burbot (Lota lota) or bubbot is the only gadiform (cod-like) freshwater fish.


The fish body is elongated, covered with very small scales and a thick layer of mucus. There is a small mustache. The mouth is almost terminal. There are two dorsal fins. The burbot has brownish-olive body, sometimes with a reddish brown shade, darker spots on the body and fins, and pale belly.
The burbot is only purely freshwater representative of the order, which reaches a body length of about 1 m and a weight of 20 kg (usually 60-80 cm and 5-8 kg). It lives in rivers and lakes throughout the most part of Russia. The bottom predator. Lithophyte.
The burbot lives in the fresh waters of various types, primarily in the northern part of Eurasia. In addition, it inhabits the Ob River basin up to the Ob, Taz and Gydan Bays.

The broad whitefish  (chir, schokur, schekur in Russian) (Coregonus nasus) is a freshwater whitefish species. Freshwater and semi-anadromous fish (especially in the lower basin of the Ob). The chir lives in the northern rivers of Russia, from Pechora to Anadyr and Penzhinskaya Bay.


The chir is dark silver. Its color is darker than that of the other species of the genus. In addition, adult fish has a bronze shade on sides. The fish body is high, massive, laterally compressed. The head is small, the lower mouth. Scale is large, tightly seated. There are 18-28 gill rakers. Benthophage. Length is about 70 cm.
The chir is widespread in the Gulf of Ob and the waters of Yamal. In addition, it is found in the Kara Bay and the Gydan Gulf. The Ob population of the chir inhabits the southern part of the Kara Bay, lower reaches of the Ob River and its tributaries, flowing from the Urals.
 In the second half of September - beginning of October, the chir go upstream the river to spawn. The spawning period begins in the late autumn in the period of shuga-drift and continues under ice. Spawning grounds are in the middle and upper reaches of the river. After spawning whitefish, depending on the ice conditions on  rivers it can migrate to lakes for wintering.