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Ussuri or Amur whitefish (Coregonus ussuriensis)

This whitefish species has a rather large terminal (less often subterminal) mouth; its head resembles the head of the Arctic cisco. The lower jaw is massive. The Ussuri whitefish is easy to distinguish from the khadary whitefish also living in the Amur by the head and mouth shape.

The range of the species includes the middle and lower reaches of the Amur River and the northern part of Sakhalin Island; it is also found in the lakes Ainskoe and Sladkoe in Sakhalin. This fish is spending winter in the main channel of the Amur River, and in summer, avoiding warm water, moves up into the lower reaches of the cold piedmont tributaries. In the lower reaches of the Amur, this whitefish can spend summers in the lakes; here it is usually found at the mouths of the cool tributaries. In summer in the rivers, the whitefish eat mainly insect larvae (mayfly) and rarely fish. In the lakes, it consumes relatively more fish; most often it is the resident pond smelt. The weight of the Ussuri whitefish in the Amur is more often from 0,5 to 1 kilograms; occasionally it can reach a weight of over 2 kilograms.

This whitefish species is reaching maturation at the age of 5-8 years; in the spawning stocks there are fish up to 10-11 years old. The fecundity ranges from 25 to 90 thousand eggs. The larvae emerge from the eggs in May and migrate downstream. In the first years of life, they feed on zooplankton and small forms of benthos.

Ilya Sherbovich