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Irkutsk Museum of Regional Studies

Baikal Limnological museum. Museums of Irkutsk. Irkutsk museum.

MUSEUMS OF BAIKAL

Baikal Limnological museum


The Baikal Limnological Station opened in the village of Listvyanka in 1928. In 1961 the station was transformed into an academic institute.
 

The unique exhibits tell about the origin and the history of the lake, its flora and fauna, geological structure, climate and tectonics of Pribaikalye. Stuffed birds and animals. Collection of minerals. Models of the lake bed showing its history, the peculiarities of its shoreline and bottom. Baikal fish (omul, golomyanka, kharius, sturgeon, taimen, pike). Microorganisms inhabiting Baikal waters and destroying everything that might pollute the lake. Exhibits found in scientific expeditions. You can watch 20-minute film "The Planet's Well" with unique shots made with the help of a deep-sea submersible vessel "Pisces" at the deepest point, 1637 m, of the lake.
 

Its museum of Limnology is divided into two sections.

  • Introduction of Lake Baikal and its surrounding area; maps, samples of recent bottom sediments, samples of rocks and minerals etc.
  • Aquatic animals including endemic species, algae, temperature characteristics.
      

The museum of Limnology introduces Lake Baikal and its surrounding area;, samples of endemic species of plants and fish. It has identified 852 plant species and 233 varieties of algae, 1550 species and varieties of animal species.
 

Mammals in Baikal are represented by seals, the world's only freshwater seals. The seal population is estimated at 70000. These animals are distributed all over the lake, especially in Northern and Middle Baikal. The full-grown animals are 1.6-1.7 m long, 130 kg in weight. Seals reach adulthood at the age of 4-6 years and are able to give birth to young over 30 years of age. The local seal is similar to the one inhabiting the Seas of Extreme North. Baikal has 50 species of fish, which belong to 12 families. Omul, sig, grayling are members of the salmon family.Other fish include perch, pike.
 

Omul is a unique variety of salmon, up to 6 kg in weight. Perhaps it is a migrant from the Arctic Ocean. The fish is commercial and once occupied the main place in fishery. However commercial fishing in lake Baikal was banned in 1969 and that ban is still in force. There are 4 species of omul in the lake, leaving in autumn for four spawning areas (tributaries of L.B.). There are two fish-breeding farms to restock the lake with omul.
 

Golomianka fish lives down in the depths of the lake between 700-1600 feet where the water temperature is low. There are two varieties of this fish both small in size (about 15-20 cm). Some are about 8 inches long. It contains 30% oil, rich in vitamin A. Native Siberians used it as fuel for their lamps and also medicinally.

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