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What Is a Taimen?

Taimen is rarely harvested for commercial use.
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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2014
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The taimen is a species of fish that belongs to the salmon family. It is most commonly found throughout the rivers of Russia and Mongolia. Other names for the taimen include the Siberian salmon and Siberian taimen. The appearance of the fish varies depending on where it is found, although in most cases the head is a green color that becomes redder further down the body. Its diet consists mainly of other fish and small mammals.

The taimen fish is found over a large part of Russia including the Pechora and Volga basins. It is usually only found in moving water although there are some places where it lives in lakes. In these situations the fish will usually be seen at the mouth of the incoming river. Like many salmon, the Siberian salmon migrates in order to find a place to spawn.

The head of the fish is usually green and the back and tail red or brown. The belly of the fish can vary depending on the geographical location from white to dark gray. Some examples of the fish can reach up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) long and they are the largest type of salmon. The average lifespan of a taimen fish is around 50 years and it can weigh up to a maximum of 200 pounds (90kg). A taimen fish that weighed 231 pounds (105kg) and was more than 6.5 feet (2 meters) long has been caught and it is not inconceivable that there are bigger examples.

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Although it lives mainly off other fish it is also known to eat other animals such as rats and birds. It is also not unheard of for the fish to eat each other and they can be extremely aggressive in eating habits. Although the fish is sometimes harvested for food, it is most commonly grown as a game fish. This is due to the cheap price of the fish, which makes it more valuable to game fisherman.

Even though the fish can still be found in large parts of Russia it is not as widespread as it once was. This is mainly due to over-harvesting as a game fish although there have also been problems with destruction of its natural habitat, too. Today, the fish can only be found in certain regions of Russia and Mongolia. In Mongolia the taimen’s large size has made it a revered fish through the centuries. The conservation status of the fish is considered threatened.

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