The asp is appreciated for its large size, which is why fishermen are desperately competing among themselves in pursuit of a giant specimen. The only drawback of fish is its bony. But this does not interfere with the cultivation of fish for themselves or for the purpose of implementation for income.
Appearance and characteristics
Asp - fish of the order Carp-shaped, family of cyprinids. It is characterized by the presence of many bones. The asp has a massive body, at the same time thick, shortened, with a fusiform shape. The back is wide.
The asp has a grayish color, uneven, changing from back to belly: the back is dark, with a gray-blue tint, the sides are silver-blue, and the belly is white. On the body is large silver scales. The front and lower fins are gray in color, darken at the tips. The dorsal fin is thin, long, sharp.
The fish has a powerful tail, in which the lower half is slightly longer than the upper. A distinctive feature is an elongated head, a large mouth, a massive lower jaw.
These external features and lifestyle have caused not only the official name of the fish, but also the appearance of other common names:
- Horse (mare). Fish can jump high.
- Schersper. From the obsolete verb "to scoop up", which translates into puffing up, being lively.
- Enough. For agility, reaction speed.
- Whiteness (whiteness). For color features: silver-gray sides and a white belly.
- Sherikh, sheliper, sherikh, sheresher, zherich. Regional, distorted forms of the original name.
In the modern world, asp is called a "river corsair", because fish like the course. Fish are found only in clean rivers with a high oxygen content.
Habitat and distribution
Asp are found in natural reservoirs, significantly limited to small rivers and small lakes. For a full life, the fish needs spacious and deep water areas, where there is clean and running, oxygen-rich water, as well as a very impressive food supply.
Under natural conditions, such fish inhabit the systems represented by large rivers, large lakes, reservoirs of the Southern, Baltic and Northern Seas of Russia.
The habitat of the asp is a small extent, which includes some territories covering Eastern Europe and a significant part of Western Europe. There is fish in parts of the Eurasian continent - between the Ural and Rhine rivers, in Central Asia: parts of Kazakhstan or the basins of the Caspian and Aral Seas. A lot of asp on the Volga.
A small number of asp individuals is observed in the waters of Lake Balkhash, where commercial fish appeared artificially.
Varieties of asp and its features
Fish grows very quickly, gaining impressive size. When fishing, fishermen can boast of prey weighing 2-2.5 kilograms with a body length of 60 centimeters. Often there are fish weighing 4-6 kilograms with a length of 75-80 centimeters. But these indicators are far from ultimate. Fishermen managed to catch giant fish 120 centimeters long and weigh 12 kilograms. Among the carp family, asp is a large and aggressive fish.
The average monthly water temperature directly affects not only the life expectancy, but also the size of the fish. Fish is a long-liver, because it has not yet been possible to establish the exact age, but it is believed that some individuals are able to live up to 15 years. The fish owes its vitality to natural cowardice and speed of reaction. If an individual sees an approaching shadow near the shore, it will immediately hide in depth.
There are several varieties of asp that are described below.
Fish prefers living at the bottom of the river. The asp has an elongated body, the head is low and at the same time elongated, the forehead is flattened. A distinctive feature is the red fins, due to which the Amur asp is also called the rudd. It lives in the Amur River basin: Onon, Ussuri, Shilka, Buir-Nur, Khanka, Sungari. The fish lives up to 20 years, grows up to 80 centimeters in length, gaining weight in 2-4 kilograms.
This is a small fish, whose weight is 1.5-1.6 kilograms with a body length of 50-55 centimeters. They are highly fertile, but still the stock of asp is significantly reduced. The reason for this is the constant discharge of industrial waste and sewage into the river.
Aral asp lives in salty and fresh reservoirs of Central Asia. Lives up to 9 years. It differs in light smoky fins and a more squat body in comparison with an ordinary asp. Reaches a weight of 5.5-6 kilograms with an increase of 65-70 centimeters. The main feature of the Aral Sheresper is the purple color of the mouth and all fins.
Asp - a fish of flat rivers, preferring water bodies with a stream and a width of 100 meters. Ponds without currents are not interesting to fish, although sometimes it comes across them. The asp is considered to be a predatory fish-flipper, capable of plying its routes without interruption in search of food. When the asp finds the fish, it muffles its tail, and then swallows it. Usually, in search of food, the asp leaves for the islands, in the channel sections of the reservoir, on rifts, to the mouths of the flowing rivers, to large currents far from the coast.
In the first year of life, small individuals keep in packs, then separate and go hunting alone.
What does an asp eat?
According to the type of nutrition, asps belong to the category of pelagic ichthyophages, which adhere to the upper or middle layers in the reservoir, as evidenced by the structure of the mouth and the appearance of the body of the fish. Young asps feed exclusively on worms, insects, small crustaceans, and some other small invertebrates.
After the fish reaches 30-40 centimeters in length, it turns into a predator and begins to actively eat fry of any other fish species, preferring small breams and roach. But still, some of the diet of the growing asp is still composed of worms and insects.
Due to the fact that the fish is illegible, it feeds on any similar individuals, including weed species: bleak, ide, gudgeon, and even pike perch. They are prone to chasing large fish, which will fit in the mouth of an asp. Often a predator grabs prey 14-15 centimeters long.
Asps are fish chasing after prey, but not waiting for it from an ambush. In inclement weather, during torrential rains and strong winds, predators try to go deeper, sometimes rising closer to the surface to catch various small insects or bugs that actively fall into the water from the vegetation overhanging the waters of the reservoir.
Asps grow very quickly, thanks to active metabolic processes and unpretentiousness in the diet. By the first year of life, the body length of the average individual is about 28 centimeters with a weight of 200 grams or more.
The fish reaches puberty by about the third year of life, when the average asp body weight reaches about 1.5 kilograms. The onset of spawning directly depends on climatic conditions. On the southern territory of Russia, the spawning process begins in mid-April, amounting to approximately a few weeks. Reproduction is carried out at a water temperature of about 7-16 degrees.
Spawning is a pair process, due to which about ten pairs of fish can spawn at one site at the same time, which gives the impression of group breeding. The period of active breeding of fish is accompanied by battles of males fighting for the right to own a female.
In search of spawning grounds, the asp prefer not to enter too shallow river tributaries. Selects a site on a sandy clay or rocky rift located in the channel of a permanently inhabited reservoir. In the process of such a search, predatory fish rises high up even against the stream.
A medium-sized female is able to sweep about 50-100 thousand eggs that settle on the roots and stems of plants that die in winter. Asp eggs are distinguished by their sticky consistency and are very well retained on the substrate. After about a few weeks, under favorable conditions, fry hatch. If the water is not warm enough, the incubation period can last even longer.
In the autumn, the sheresper begins to accumulate fat for the winter and hides in the depths. Large specimens come across at this time, but fishing is necessary far from the coast, which is why it is advisable to use a boat. It is not difficult to catch an active asp, but for this they use live bait or a deep-sea wobbler. The bait must have large dimensions, otherwise the asp will not even pay attention to it. In the fall, aggressive fish do not let anyone in, due to which experienced fishermen disguise themselves.
In the summer, the asp goes hunting for fry. He briefly swims close to the shore, due to which the fishermen can catch him on small bait fish. In addition to fry, frogs are used for fishing from the shore. It is not necessary to use only natural baits; it is permissible to use surface turntables and wobblers.
In the hot summer, the fish is fully restored, it becomes both sensitive and shy, and does not swim to the shore. Long-range baits are used to catch a predator.
The best time for fishing is considered earlier in the morning, because during this period the asp goes hunting for schools of small fish, becoming easy prey. Looking for asp in the areas of movement of large schools of high-water fish.
The asp is hunting close to the surface, waiting for its prey in places with a roll of water, with a strong or moderate current. Small individuals up to 2.5 kilograms begin to hatch in schools, and larger fish hunt alone.
In winter, the sheresper continues to hunt near the surface of the water, but it is difficult to catch. This requires many years of experience. Predators are caught in non-freezing reservoirs, far from the coast, in the daytime in places of accumulation of bleak, when the fish actively feeds. Catch asp, using winter spinning. The aggressive fish is pulled out carefully, using a small hook, otherwise a large fish may jerk against the stream, breaking the fishing rod.
Asp are caught from ice, but only in those places where hollows are formed in the river, is there a strong current near the pits or the water is otherwise supplied with oxygen. To capture an asp through a hole use:
- a donkey with a leash longer than 20 centimeters;
- sheer method using narrow spinners, castmaster or pilkers;
- silver pike perches (rarely used).
On ice, it is permissible to approach hollows with ordinary spinning, but do not forget that there is thin ice at the water's edge. Not to fail will allow the adoption of a position 10-15 meters from the ice edge. In this case, it is required to stop not on the current, but on the side of it.
An increase in the catch will be provided by top dressing, which corresponds in composition to seasonal preferences in the diet of fish. In early spring, the use of boiled cereals with the addition of a worm and bottom small animals is recommended. In May, asp will exclusively like the May bug. In the summer, asps feed on dragonflies, pieces of fry, butterflies, grasshoppers, large flies. Fishermen form balls from insects, placing them in a feeder. In summer and autumn, it is advisable to use pieces of fish and frogs.
Valuable properties of asp
Asp are cautious and timid fish, at the same time lush, due to which they gained immense popularity in many European countries, becoming an object for spinning sport fishing. Due to the fact that asp is very fast growing, and their meat is very healthy and tasty, fish is considered valuable.
Semi-passage subspecies of asp are of great commercial importance. The fish meat, despite its excellent palatability, is characterized by excessive bony. For these reasons, it is very often used for smoking or curing, and asp balyk is comparable in taste to a balyk made from salmon fish.
What dishes are prepared from asp?
- The meat of the fish is fat, tender, but it contains many small bones. When salting, the bones soften and are practically not noticed.
- Asp meat is used for cooking minced meat, stewing with vegetables, in sauce and sour cream, baking in foil or frying.
- Salted asp caviar has a delicate taste. Served as an appetizer with croutons.
- A delicious fish soup or fish soup is prepared from the loin portion of the fish.
- It is very tasty to cook fish with vegetables: tomatoes, tomatoes, celery. Asp are sprinkled with herbs and baked under cheese.
- Fish is cooked at the stake, baked in the oven and on coals.
- Suitable for pickling and stuffing.
Enemies of the asp
The asp has well-developed organs of vision and senses. Even in the process of hunting, the fish manage to clearly control the entire surrounding space, due to which it is difficult for natural enemies of the asp to get close to it.
Young individuals become prey for a wide variety of predators, including adult asps. Young birds are often eaten by some birds, especially cormorants and gulls.
In adult asps, in natural conditions there are practically no enemies. The greatest danger for mature specimens is represented by eagles and ospreys. It is these birds that can look out the asp from a bird's eye view, after which they will instantly dive and deftly grab predatory fish from the water.
Breeding and growing asp
Asp is a representative of the carp family. It is permissible to grow fish in a pond or cage when creating the necessary conditions in which the asp will develop. Breeding is carried out both for personal consumption and for the sale of fish for the purpose of a profitable, profitable business.
Asp breeding for the purpose of implementation is carried out with intensive feeding of fish. In a specially equipped pond or pool, small-mesh wire ponds are organized, in which asp juveniles are launched.
Cages are bags that are attached to a floating wooden frame, additionally equipped with floats to keep it afloat. It is optimal that the cage is 6x4 meters in size, and its height corresponds to the depth of the reservoir, but does not exceed 2.5 meters.
In each cage, fish are launched at the rate of 200 individuals per 1 square meter. For stocking, it is recommended to take year-old asps. With intensive fattening from one cage per season, up to 5,000 kilograms of marketable fish are obtained.
A prerequisite is the provision of high protein feed, aeration of the pond or pool, water filtration, lighting to attract natural food: zooplankton, insects.
Income is obtained not only from the sale of fish products, but also from the return of part of the area for mother liquors. Next, inseminated eggs are selected and cyprinids are grown, which are then sold for breeding in other farms.
Breeding asp on a summer cottage on an ongoing basis is permissible if it is possible to dig a pond or block a stream with an area of at least 30 square meters and at least 1.5 meters in depth. If there are no such conditions, asp are bred only in summer in artificial plastic pools.
When arranging a pond, a repetition of the structure of natural reservoirs is required:
- The bottom soil is laid out in layers, alternating stones, clay and silt.
- They make a stepped relief with two eyebrows.
- Water plants are planted along the coast.
- The bottom should have a pit and a shallow.
Some of the daylight hours should be reduced, that is, the pond needs to be dug in the area where the shadow from the buildings or trees falls. This is necessary for the fish to hide in the pond from the scorching sun.
It is allowed that the pond has both an artificial clay bed and previously concreted. Provided that there is a natural flow of water into the pond, it is recommended to leave a natural base. When filling a pond with imported or tap water, a pond is made like a pool with a concrete base. So you need to install a water filtration system.
The asp is launched into the pond after the water has stood for about several months - this is required for the deposition of silt, the development of aquatic plants, and the creation of an ecosystem. With the right approach, after a few years, an adult asp will start to spawn.
Asp is an amazing fish, which, despite its shy nature, is a fast predator that does not allow itself to be eaten by stronger individuals. It is characterized by attractive appearance, valuable and healthy meat, application for cooking various dishes.