Monday, August 17, 2009

Houting (Coregonus oxyrinchus)

The Houting is a sea fish which lives close to the shores of the eastern North Sea and in the south Baltic. Its body is up to 50 cm long, the snout is pointed and long and the mouth is in the inferior position. The back is blue-green or grey-blue, whilst the sides and the belly arc white and the fins a light grey. When about to spawn it migrates into freshwater, where it breeds in November and December on the sandy and gravelly beds of shallow waters. It feeds mainly on plankton and small animals on the river bed. In the southern North Sea the houting is on the verge of extinction. Rivers such as the Rhine, in which it formerly bred, have become so polluted that no fish can survive.

Maximum size and weight: 50 cm, 1.5 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Snout long and pointed, mouth in infbrior position. Back blue-green or grey-blue, belly and sides white, fins greyish.

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