The appearance of the spike is characteristic of all sturgeons: it is a large fish with a long body about two meters and weighing about 30 kg weighing about 30 kg. These sturgeon fish inhabit the basins of the four seas in our country (Caspian, Black, Azov and Aral). It is from here for spawning that the spike goes into the waters of large rivers. This type of fish is characterized by the formation of winter and spring forms.
The spikes reach puberty at a late age: males are capable of breeding at the age of about 10 years, and females begin to throw caviar only at the age of 15. The process of spawning begins in the middle or end of spring, and during the spawning, the female lays from two hundred thousand to more than a million eggs.
Throughout life, this species of fish is constantly erased in adults, elderly individuals, they are almost invisible with age. It was for this feature that the spike received his Latin name Nudiventris, which means “hollyshaped”.
The body of this species of fish has a spindleshaped shape, and the spike head is elongated and has an almost correct shape of the triangle. The torso is equipped with five rows of bone bones-bunks: one goes in the center of the back, two on the sides and two closer to the belly. The first of the bugs is the largest, and in total up to 70 bugs are located on the sides. The color of the spike varies in gray-green colors, and the belly is almost white, with a yellowish tint. The spike has a compact mouth that the fringed antennae frames.
The spikes among sturgeons are of average size, and their maximum weight is 60 kg, but on average body weight ranges from 20 kg.
Where it lives
To date, the number of the spike population (like all sturgeons) in the area is insignificant. And most fully these types of sturgeon was able to preserve only in the basin of the Caspian Sea, but there are not so many of it here.
Single individuals can be found in the Black Sea and in the waters of Lake Balkhash. At the moment, there is completely no reliable information about the spike in the waters of the Sea of Azov and the Aral basin. For the period of spawning, the spike enters the waters of large rivers: Ural, Volga, Syr Darya, Kura, Amurdarya. This type of fish can be found in almost all the southern seas in our country.
The spike is semipassage fish, since it prefers wintering in the waters of rivers. Moreover, it was previously represented in the Aral Sea exclusively winter racial. In other seas, he prefers to exist in the southern parts. The spike practically does not enter the Volga, but it can often be found in the Urals. It is possible that until today this fish has been preserved in the Danube. Previously, it was the Shipa who was the only representative of the sturgeon family in the Aral Sea, rising from there along the rivers at significant distances for spawning. It was perfectly acclimatized in or-Balkhash water pool.
Due to its size, the spike is considered a fairly quiet and quite clumsy fish, but this is not true. The fish prefers to exist without unnecessary movements, but I am perfectly able to demonstrate speed during hunting, I react almost instantly to the presence of a victim. At the same time, the spike prefers to hunt in silt and live in it: it cannot be found among the stones.
The spike, like any sturgeon fish, is a serious predator and is mainly hunted for fish trifles and crustaceans. Young animals prefer to eat larvae, mollusks, caviar of other fish species, and their relatives including. Depending on the abundance of feed, the spike feeds on mollusks or small fish.
The habitual habitat of the spike is sea water, and it is in it that this fish spends most of its life, preferring to stay deep water near the mouths of rivers.
The males of the spike, in contrast to females, the age of sexual age reach a little faster, starting from 10 years, but females are capable of reproduction no earlier than 15. The process itself Propagation in this type of fish occurs once every few years. And depending on the moment of spawning, this species will break into the following varieties:
It is interesting that during migration this type of fish is able to overcome significant distances that can make a figure up to two thousand kilometers.
The period of propagation of the spikes falls in the spring, and the fish for its spawning prefers to choose areas with a pebble bottom (in extreme cases with large sand), and necessarily with muddy water to increase the survival of young animals.
This type of sturgeon is the most prolific of all representatives of the species: the female is able to postpone up to a million eggs. As a rule, larvae appear on the fifth day, and in the water of the rivers such fry spend up to several years.
In nature, this type of fish is able to calmly form horses with other sturgeons (beluga, stroke and directly with sturgeon). Such estates were also artificially bred by artificial insemination in the Kura River.
Population and status of the species
The spike is a type of fish that faces complete disappearance in the wild in the very near future. It requires the adoption of urgent environmental measures, which include artificial breeding and the subsequent production of a population in the rivers: you need to understand that this is required to be done as quickly as possible, because after a decade it will be impossible to preserve the spike.
Over the past 45 years (and this is only three generations!) the population of this type of sturgeon decreased by a catastrophic figure of 90%.
The reason for this reduction at a rapid pace was, first of all, mass poaching, which was aggravated by human activities in the construction of hydroelectric power plants (and this is an insurmountable barrier to the spike reproduction places).
The species almost disappeared in the Aral Sea due to the mass production of the stroke, which was carried out in the 30s of the last century. This fish brought with it parasitic diseases that the spike could not cope.
The spike as a species disappears with great swiftness, which is facilitated not only by illegitimate fishing, but later the gastle of the spike: young animals die quickly, not having time to begin to spawning. Young animals of this species have been living in running water for several years, and only then goes to a permanent place of residence in sea waters. And in the rivers, such a trifle easily becomes food for many river predators.
To date, both catch and fish export (in t.h. caviar) this type is prohibited at the legislative level, but sometimes mining is allowed for local use. The spike is not distinguished among other sturgeons during sales through retail chains.
There are many fish factories in our country, in Kazakhstan and Iran, which derive this sturgeon variety to obtain caviar and valuable meat.
To solve the situation in our country (as well as in Iran), young animals are released on a limited scale to the Caspian Marine Basin, as well as in the river waters of the Kuban and Don.
At the beginning of the last century, the catch of this fish amounted to about 600 tons, but already in the middle of the 20th century it decreased to a meager figure of 9 tons per year. The spike is included in the red books of our country, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, where its catch is also prohibited.
Fishing and fishing for fish spike is officially prohibited, since its number is scanty. But this fish is considered to be a delicacy, and yet it can sometimes be found on the shelves (but, as a rule, these are young animals that have not yet made meat).
If we talk about adult fish, then it has quite high taste characteristics and nutritional qualities: there are almost no carbohydrates in the stud, and there are only easily digestible protein and fatty acids (including fish oil). From the head of this fish you can get the perfect ear, a rich and fragrant. There are almost no small bones here, and children can eat spike meat without fear.
It is interesting that in the lower Volga precisely this name the spike it is customary to call any cross of sturgeon species of fish.