An Island in Lake Baikal: The land of fishermen

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Village Khuzhir (5444 km distance from Moscow) is the main town on the island of Olkhon, the largest one on the Lake Baikal.

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The local people usually go on fishing to the north of the Lake Olkhon. Over there, on the ice, they pitch their tents, heat them up by using the old furnaces and hauling nets full of fish from a hole in the ice.

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“Nowadays there’s not much Omul in the Lake Baikal as before. Years ago we got more than a ton from only one fishing net!” says one of the local fishermen.

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In Soviet times there were two fish farms in Khuzhir, but both have gone bankrupt. Fishermen here remember them with regret: “We used to breed fish … and now we can only catch them”.

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When asked what they do with the tone of the fish, fishermen respond that they sell in the Khuzhir port at the price of 40 rubles per kilogram.

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Fishermen take almost half of the catch to the fish processing plant in Khuzhir. Over here, tourists purchase large amounts of fish, so it doesn’t lie around unsold.

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Nadezhda Pavlovna works at the fish processing plant in Khuzhir. She is the one who sells the famous Baikal cold-smoked Omul all over the country.

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Khuzhir is picturesque town. Some places there reminds of Europe, and some of the indigenous Siberia.

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Most of the residents work in the service sector. They have tourist information center, plenty of family hotels and tourist facilities. Fishing is an unrivaled most popular entertainment for tourists.

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The main enterprise used to be the Malomorsky fishery, which employed almost the entire population. Today production is minimal, and substantial investment is required to restore it.

Source: Russia Beyond The Headlines

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