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City news, 14.05.2004 16:25

Festival for the city's favorite fish

Koryushka Spring is back and the city smells like koryushka - the city's main and favorite fish. To mark this event St. Petersburg residents are for the second time invited to celebrate their scaled friends in a Koryushka festival in the Peter and Paul Fortress at noon on Sunday.

Koryushka (hypomesus olidus), or freshwater smelt, is a little fish between four and 14 centimeters long. It lives in northern waters, and accounts for about half of the catch off the coast of the Gulf of Finland. St. Petersburg residents consider this delicious little fish an integral part of the city because the regular arrival of the koryushka is a sign of stability.

Every spring, the fish come up the Neva River from the Gulf of Finland to spawn, and inevitably get trapped in fishermen's nets. Koryushki have meant so much to St. Petersburg that they have become one of the city's symbols and many poems have been written about them.

The koryushka's habitat is around 60 degrees north, a latitude that coincides with the territories that enter the countries of the Northern Forum. The countries that have regions in the forum are Canada, China, Finland, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

The organizers of the festivities includes a carnival program, koryushka fishing competitions from rubber boats; a Koryushka cooking contest; sales of crafts; a bike show; disco and other events.

All through the day there'll be sales of fresh, fried, smoked, dried, salty and pickled koryushka.

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