Habitat and Ecology
Lake Kezenoi-am is a mountain lake, 2.4 km²,with a maximum depth of 74 m,, temperatures about 5°C below 20 m and 5-18°C in upper layers in summer, covered by ice in winter, high oxygen concentrations down to bottom year-round and low plankton density. Spawns in lake, close to underwater springs; large-sized form probably migrates to tributaries. Prior to the introduction of Gobio holurus and Squalius cephalus, S. ezenami was the only fish in the lake.
Lacustrine, migrates to tributaries. Two forms are known: small-size (adults 160-260 mm SL, 200-350 g) and large-size (adults 380-1130 mm SL, over 1 kg). Males reproduce for the first time at two years, females at three. Spawning period extends over almost entire year. Young juveniles feed mostly on gammarids, chironomid larvae; larger juveniles and adults feed on molluscs, benthic invertebrates and fry; largest individuals are mostly piscivorous, especially since the introduction of G. holurus.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The only native occurrence, in Lake Kezenoi-Am in Chechnya at the border of Dagestan, is in a cold alpine lake (area 2.4 km², maximum depth 74 m, 1870 m altitude). In addition, the species has been introduced to another lake in Dagestan, Lake Mochokh, probably successfully.
Salmo ezenami used to be the only fish species in Lake Kezenoi-Am. However, two other species, the European chub and Gobio holurus have been introduced, and present a threat by eating the fry of Salmo.
Salmo ezenami spawns in the lake, close to underwater springs. Adult fish also probably migrate to tributaries. There are separate small-sized (adults 160–260 mm) and large-sized forms (380–1130 mm). Young prey on gammarids and chironomids; adults also eat molluscs and fishes, after the introduction of nonnative species.
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