Qinghai Lake is China's largest saltwater lake, once a year can reach 50 million pounds of fish, but now several times announced a ban on fishing, what is going on? Now how big is the largest fish inside Qinghai Lake?
Qinghai Lake, located in the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau, is one of the most important lakes in China's interior at present, and is very important for maintaining ecological security in the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau, and is also a particularly famous tourist destination in China, where many tourists visit every year.
The first is that it is obviously an inland lake but is a saltwater lake, which is very rare.
In fact, at the beginning, Qinghai Lake was also a freshwater lake connected with the Yellow River, but later, after the continuous movement of the earth's crust, the mountains around Qinghai Lake began to rise, the backward flowing rivers were forced to block up, the transpiration in the lake continued to strengthen, the water evaporated too much, the salt content continued to increase, and Qinghai Lake slowly evolved into the shape of a saltwater lake.
The second special feature is that the shape and size of Qinghai Lake is constantly changing.
The area of Qinghai Lake has gone through a process from large to small and then from small to large. It was first formed as a fault lake by the trapping of a geological fault, and the area of Qinghai Lake was as much as 20,000 square kilometers, which was the largest area of Qinghai Lake, after which it was forced to become an inland lake due to the uplift of the mountains, which caused the rivers, including the Yellow River, to be unable to connect with Qinghai Lake.
Thankfully, however, after 2005 some rivers near Qinghai Lake slowly began to flow into it again, and the lake stopped shrinking and slowly began to expand in size, by 2021 it had expanded by more than 400 square kilometers. According to relevant experts, the area of Qinghai Lake will continue to expand slowly, although it is difficult to return to its peak in a short period of time, but this is already great news for the ecological security of the Tibetan Plateau.
Qinghai Lake as China's largest saltwater lake, and deep inland, far from the ocean, that will live in what special fish?
The early fish in Qinghai Lake were brought in through the Yellow River and other confluent rivers, and these fish resources took root and lived in Qinghai Lake. However, after the lake gradually became a saltwater lake, many freshwater fish could no longer adapt to this living environment and slowly disappeared from the lake.
So even though the area of Qinghai Lake is very large, its fish diversity is very insufficient. There are only six types of indigenous fish living in Qinghai Lake, including Qinghai Lake naked carp, Ganzi River naked carp, hard-spined plateau loach, and long-headed striped loach, among which Qinghai Lake naked carp is the most important kind of fish resource in Qinghai Lake.
The Qinghai Lake naked carp has a very special relationship with humans.
In the 1960s, the famine swept through China, especially near Qinghai, where people were worried about food every day.
But this was a disaster for the Qinghai Lake naked carp, which was almost extinct due to overfishing. The average annual production of naked carp in Qinghai Lake is about 5,000 tons, but in the year of famine, human fishing was as much as 28,000 tons, and this overfishing continued for a very long time.
After realizing that the Qinghai Lake naked carp were in crisis, the lake had to be closed to fishing for the first time in 1982, and even afterwards the lake was classified as a Grade II protected animal in an attempt to save the lake from the tragic situation.
Until now, Qinghai Lake has been closed to fishing six times, most recently for ten years starting in 2021.
Thanks to the efforts of people and the self-healing of Qinghai Lake, the resources of wild fish species in Qinghai Lake, including Qinghai Lake naked carp, have been well restored and developed.
The protection measures for fish in Qinghai Lake have been quite perfect. How big are the biggest fish in Qinghai Lake now during the many fishing bans?
In fact, although there are six species of indigenous fish in Qinghai Lake, they actually belong to just two genera.
A kind of loach family: this kind of fish is generally smaller, more slender, the average down the body length is only a dozen centimeters, the weight hovers around 100 grams.
The other is the genus Cyprinidae: the size of this fish is generally a little larger than the loach genus, the largest of which is the Qinghai Lake naked carp.
But even the mature Qinghai Lake naked carp are not big enough to be called big at all, even compared to other fish.
Because the size of fish is also related to their living environment, in general the more comfortable the living environment, then the size of the fish will also be larger, but for fish living in Qinghai Lake, they have to adapt to the high altitude of Qinghai Lake, but also to withstand the high salinity of Qinghai Lake, living in Qinghai Lake inside the other aquatic life is also very little, which leads to the fish do not have sufficient food can be developed, so their size growth will also be somewhat limited.
Moreover, the warm season of Qinghai Lake is very short, so the feeding period of the fish is also shorter, and their growth rate is slower compared to the fish living in other waters, and the size of the fish in Qinghai Lake cannot be compared to other fish at all in the same time.
The average weight of Qinghai Lake naked carp in the 1960s was only about 1.2 pounds, and this figure will probably drop a lot after a lot of fishing.
So although Qinghai Lake looks very beautiful and the area of the lake is very large, it is not really a paradise for fish, for the fish living in Qinghai Lake, every day is a test of their survival.