Thursday, April 2, 2009
Diversity of Charrs in the Russian Far East
Charrs (genus Salvelinus) are salmonid fishes with very small scales. To the touch all charrs bear no scales; Russian name of this group "golets" means "naked". On the territory of the Russian Far East there are about ten different charr species. On the contrary to Pacific salmon charr can spawn several times during the life span, although some fish die after spawning. Anadromous charrs spawn and spend winter in fresh water, for 2-3 summer months they feed in salt water, not far from the sea shores. Fish from landlocked populations spend the whole life in lakes or rivers.Comparing with Dolly Varden, white-spotted charr (S. leucomaenis) is “warmth liking” species. This charr live only in Asia, from Kamchatka and Sea of Okhotsk to Japan. The northernmost population of the species was found in the upper part of the Penzhina River (63°N).
Arctic charr from the Mainopilgino Lake (south-eastern Chukotka)Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) has huge range, including the whole Arctic Ocean Sea coast of Europe, Asia and North America. There are anadromous and also landlocked (lake-resident) forms of this species. Some fish biologists consider Arctic charr of the northeast Asia (Chukotka) to be a separate species - Salvelinus taranetzi.
Arctic charr from the Amguema River drainage (Chukotka). Two fish are lake-resident and one - sea-run. Two forms of charr from the Ekityki Lake (Chukotka). Above - 2 predatory charr, below - 2 benthos-feeding charr.
Dolly Varden charr (ripe male & female) from the Inya R., Sea of Okhotsk
Dolly Varden charr (S. malma) is the most widespread and numerous charr in the world. Natural range of Dolly Varden is huge; it covers both Asian and American coast of the Pacific from about 45°N to the Bering Strait, and also the coast of the Arctic Ocean from Kolyma River in Asia to Mackenzie River in America.3 species of anadromous charrs from the Yama River (Sea of Okhotsk): Dolly Varden (above), yellow-mouth charr (middle), and white-spotted charr (below).
Yellow-mouth charr (S. Levanidovi) is anadromous fish;`it has small range and was found only in three river drainages of the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Yellow-mouth charr was not known the scientists until 1984.Neiva or red charr (S. neiva) from the Korral lake.
Neiva is not big, brightly colored lake-resident fish; there are no anadromous or river-resident stocks of red charr. Neiva was discovered in the lakes of the Okhota River drainage. Similar charr forms were found in different clear lakes situated on the mainland coast of the Sea of Okhotsk.