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Kamchatka >Pacific Salmon
The middle of June is the beginning of the main event on the rivers and lakes of Kamchatka: it is salmon spawning season. Millions of fish, driven by a powerful instinct, leave the sea and return to the rivers and streams where they began their life cycle and where they now have to complete it.
Salmon chonge their silver-colored scales to bright mating armor and head up the river to face a brief frenzy of love and death. No power in the world can possibly make them turn back. Each Pacific salmon gets to partake of this mystery of procreation only once. And the up-stream journey will take every last bit of energy and resources the fish gathered while in the ocean.
About 1/3 of all of the word's Pacific salmon spawns in Kamchatka, including all six salmon species (Chinook. Coho. Sockeye, Chum, Pink and Cherry Salmon). The Kurilskoye Lake, "the pearl of Kamchatka," is the largest salmon spawning ground in Asia. For this reason the lake has been preserved practically untouched.
A spawning river is a harmonious, fragile, wondrous, and mysterious world. In 2003 the United Nations Development Program and the Global Ecology Fund started a 7-year project to protect the biо-diversity of salmon species on four of Kamchatka's rivers. This is the world's first effort at preserving salmon populations that does not limit commercial production at the some lime. Russian economists calculated the benefits of this conservation effort and found the numbers quite impressive: Kamchatka Pacific salmon's commercial value is over $20 billion!
Kamchatka is the world's lost refuge for several wild Pacific salmon species. These species play о vital role in many river ecosystems of the peninsula. The survival of many other rare animals and birds depends on the salmon's wellbeing. For instance, the survival of the brown bear, the Steller's sea lions, as well as 1/2 of the world’s sea eagles depends on the ample supply of Pacific salmon.