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Dryagin's char (Salvelinus drjagini)

This species of lake char has very high body, short and high caudal stem, and truncated or weakly notched caudal fin. This is a medium or large size char with a large mouth and conical or rounded head. The back is grayish-green, the sides can have variety of colors. The Dryagin's char forms lake, river-lake, and semi-anadromous forms; some specimens go out from the Lake Taimyr into the Taimyrski Bay for feeding.

The body of this char is covered with a few large (about 1 cm) light or orange spots of round or irregular shape. The belly and the lower part of the head are white or light yellow. The ventral and anal fins are reddish brown. During the spawning period, the color becomes brighter.

This species is endemic of the Taimyr Peninsula; it lives in the Lakes Lama, Kapchuk, Glubokoe, Keta, Khantaiskoe, and Taimyr; it is also found in the Lower Taimyra River. In the Lake Taimyr, this fish can reach the length of 104 cm and the weight of 14 kg.

In the Lama and Sobachye lakes, a dark form called the “Black Palia” is occasionally found. By the nature of its nutrition, the Dryagin’s char is an euriphage with predominance of fish diet. In lakes, it performs feeding migrations following the movements of whitefish; the rest of the time the fish is found at big depth. In the lake the chars’ growth is slow, the river-lake chars grow faster. Especially fast growing are the fish that go out to feed in salt water. Te maturation is observed at the age of 7-12 (Lake Lama) and 7-9 (Lake Taimyr) years.

The Dryagin’s char spawn in rivers with dee holes, rapids and a swift current in the autumn; in the Lake Keta the breeding occurs in the spring, and in the Lake Lama – in July-August. The fecundity of 59-79 cm long fish was 2250-9080 eggs. The roe is yellow with a diameter of 5 mm.

Ilya Sherbovich