The fisheries of Lake Baikal are very valuable. Great numjbers of seals, of a silvery color, are captured, the skins of which are sold to the Chinese. Sturgeon, to the extent of about one thousand poods a year; salmon, &c, are also taken; but the grand object of the fishery is the omul, a sort of herring (Salmo autumnalis, vel migratorius), taken in vast numbers (about one hundred thousand poods a year) in August and September, when it ascends the rivers. The most singular fish belonging to the Baikal is the golomynka QGallyonimus Baicalen-sis), from four to six inches in length, so very fat, that it melts before the fire like butter. The latter is never taken alive, but is cast dead upon the shore, sometimes in immense quantities, after storms. It yields an oil, sold to great advantage to the Chinese. The surface of the lake is frozen over from November to the end of April, or the beginning of May. The pilots and sailors who navigate the lake, speak of it with much reverence, calling it the Holy sea (Sviatore More}, and the mountains about it the Holy mountains; and are highly displeased with any person who speaks of it with disrespect, or calls it a lake.
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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855