Thursday, November 8, 2012

Russian expedition - part I

In 2010, Saša got acquainted with Dr. Oleg Askeyev, the head of Biomonitoring Laboratory at the Institute of Problems in Ecology and Mineral Wealth, Tatarstan Academy of Sciences in Kazan. He found out about us via this website. Due to our common interests, we saw a potential of mutual collaboration; in August 2011, Saša, Matjaž Červek (my outdoor buddy) and I responded to a Russian invitation for a 14-days expedition to pre-Ural area in Tatarstan, Orenburg and Bashkiria, in the first place to perform Thymallus thymallus sampling, which took place in the middle Kama and upper Ural river systems.

 > The expedition team: Igor (Oleg’s twin brother, ichthyologist), Aleš, Oleg, Matjaž, Saša, Sergey Monakhov (ichthyologist, PhD student), Rustem the driver, Dmitry (biologist and excellent cook in the field) and the famous UAZ 4WD van. Saša Belayev (small mammal  expert and curator of the Natural history museum) is taking the picture.

From my perspective, the celebrity of this expedition was grayling; we found them in small headstreams, which are in Slovenia normally populated with brown trout only. This is only one of several differences that make the Caspian grayling distinct from the Sava ones.

Net was the main fishing tool; quite some skill is needed to use it effectively.

For more details, see Field trips.

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