cover-picture-huchen_0

 

Danube salmon were not long ago mistakenly placed in the genus Salmo together with trout, but it bore the name of Salmo Hucho, which later proved incorrect, when it was learned that there are a few fish that are its relatives. So today ichthyology separates the salmonids family genus into species Hucho and subspecies Parahucho.

taimen-igor-borisovich-olkhovskyanyui-river-russia-50kg-170-cm

Taimen. Igor Borisovich, Olkhovskyanyui river, Russia. 50kg 170cm

Comparing Danube Salmon (Hucho hucho) and Siberian Hucho or Taimen (Hucho taimen), the big fish among them is Siberian taimen and the dimension and the area where he lives, as there are important anatomical differences between Taimen and our Danube Salmon. Hucho Taimen lives in almost all the great Siberian rivers such as the Yenisei, Ob, Lena, Pjasni, Chatanga and lakes Zasjan, Telechka and lower Baikal. Spanning from upper Volga and all the way to Amur, this fish covers almost the whole Eurasian part of the former USSR. It spawns at the same time as the Danube Salmon with a size that is suitable to these huge rivers. In Chatanga, there was a record catch of 86 kg with a length of 204 cm, and the biggest catch was recorded in the river Kotuy River in 1943 weighting an amazing 105 kg and being 210 cm long.

Bigscales Sakhalinsk Hucho (Hucho Perry) adapted to life in the sea, and it’s living space according to Berg goes south of Vladivostok to the Tatar Strait. It spawns in May and grows between 30 and 50 kg. Sakhalin fry moves out from the sea up the rivers on the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido and Sakhalin. It differs from Taimen and Danube salmon mainly with big scales, which are not usually strong point of salmonids and slightly tapering head and fins.

The fourth is a Korean (Hucho Ishikwai) which is also the least understood. It lives in the upper part of the Korean Yalu River (Kazan, Chosin) and there are data collected by Mori in 1928, according to which say it grows to one meter.

Our Hucho Hucho until recently lived exclusively in the Danube and its tributaries. Such quality fish was wanted and in other countries and rivers and as such they were exported to Morocco, Sweden and Belgium, but due to unfavourable biotope and climate, the sprouts there has never managed to live like in its natural habitat and although inserted specimens lived and grew, the entire project collapsed of exporting Danube Salmon failed and collapsed. However, thanks to human efforts today it’s life area has considerably expanded and can now be found in the waters of Spain, France, Switzerland, and the tributaries of the river Vistula, where they normally reproduce. Until they reach a stable population and size, we can find fully grown ones in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and area of former Yugoslavia.

danube-salmon-hucho-hucho-living-spread

Map of Danube Salmon living area

 

There is conflicting data on the sizes of our Danube salmon, those older and these more recent catches. Since older data is not supported by proper documentation other than finding stories in newspaper accounts, we present them only as an object of contemplation. This states that the biggest fish was hunted and caught in Austria on the Drava river near Spittal, where it was named König – Huch for weighting over 30 kg. However, the data continue to suggest that in 9.1.1873, on the River Danube near Tulln, a fisherman caught a 183 cm long and 60 kg heavy Danube Salmon. In that area another was caught with respectable 52 kg.

danube-salmon-58-kg-halil-sofradzija-1938

Danube Salmon 58kg, Halil Sofradzija in 1938

There is also recorded data on 23 February 1938 in the Journal of the ‘Policy’ that the workers employed in the construction of the railway Ustiprača – Foca close to the village of Ustikolina on the Drina River caught a Danube Salmon weighting 58 kg weight. There unfortunately is no detailed data about it, but they did take an image of the captured fish. In Slovakia, on the river Hron a 46 kg Danube Salmon was found, albeit dead. There is however no convincing evidence about it except for the occasional photo.

We also we will not argue that these fish are out there because we do not have convincing evidence, but we are deeply convinced of the existence of such, as there are still catches of this fish above expectations, however catches of the large ones are often hidden because they are caught in an illegal way.

41-3-kg-148-cm-dzevad-sarkinovic-na-plavskom-jezeru-1985

Danube Salmon 41.3kg and 148cm. Dževad Šarkinović on Plavsko lake 1985

Danube Salmon 29kg 133cm

Remzija Krkalić 1940 with a 36 kg Hucho

Danube Salmon that is regarded as the largest  one caught with convincing evidence, weighting 41,3 kg and 148 cm in length, is a 1985 catch made by Dževad Šarkinović on Lake Plav. That Danube Salmon was stuffed and now present a proof without a doubt and until this one was caught, the largest one caught was one made on river Drina by Remzija Krkalić from Foca in 1940 which weighed 36 kg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danube Salmon and relatives blog