Lake Khövsgöl

Lake Khövsgöl is the largest lake in Mongolia by volume, and the second largest by area. It is also the second-most voluminous freshwater lake in Asia, and holds almost 70% of Mongolia’s fresh water and 0.4% of all the fresh water in the world.

Lake Khövsgöl (Wikipedia)

Khövsgöl is one of seventeen ancient lakes worldwide more than 2 million years old and the most pristine (apart from Lake Vostok).[2][3] and is the most significant drinking water reserve of Mongolia. Its water is potable without any treatment. Hovsgol is an ultraoligotrophic lake with low levels of nutrients and primary productivity and high water clarity (secchi depths > 18 m are common). Hovsgol’s fish community is species poor compared to that of Lake Baikal. Species of commercial and recreational interest include Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis), burbot (Lota lota), lenok (Brachymystax lenok), and the endangered endemic Hovsgol grayling (Thymallus nigrescens). Though endangered by poaching during its spawning runs, the Hovsgol grayling is still abundant throughout much of the lake[4].

The Lake area is a National Park bigger than Yellowstone and strictly protected as a transition zone between Central Asian Steppe and Siberian Taiga. Despite Hovsgol’s protected status, illegal fishing is common and prohibitions against commercial fishing with gillnets are seldom enforced. The lake is traditionally considered sacred in a land suffering from arid conditions where most lakes are salty.

The Park is home to a variety of wildlife such as ibex, argali, elk, wolf, wolverine, musk deer, brown bear, Siberian moose and sable.

See also

Web archive for HovsgolEcology.org

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