Lake Sevan is a miracle of nature, one of the most beautiful high mountain lakes, located between mountains, at an altitude of 1900m above sea level. Its fresh water is clear and clean. According to tradition, stars and gods drank water from Sevan.
Myths of the formation of the lake
Lake Sevan and its surroundings are considered one of the most scenic and beautiful places in Armenia. It is more likely that this lake was formed several thousand years ago as a result of volcanic processes that took place in the vicinity of the Geghama Mountains. Apparently, the lake got its name from the ancient Black Monastery church of the same name, which was built in the 9th century in the northwestern part of the peninsula. The name means “black church” because the monastery is built of black stones.
The lake Sevan has been remarkable for its fish species since ancient times. However, as a result of changes in the level of the lake starting from the 20th century and as a result of uncontrolled hunting caused by the difficult socio-economic situation of recent years, the fish stocks of Lake Sevan were drastically reduced.
The fauna of Lake Sevan is divided into 2 subtypes: vertebrates and invertebrates. About 276 species of vertebrates are counted in the lake, 48 species out of which are included in the Red Book of Armenia, and 3 species are regional endemics. Invertebrates of the Lake Sevan are also diverse – 150 species, which are included in different classes and groups.
Endemic species are: ishkhan, koghak and beghlu.
It is customary to divide the trout species into 4 ecological subspecies: winter bakhtak, summer bakhtak, Geharkuni and bojak. Winter bakhtak and bojak fish species have completely disappeared. Trout geharkuni and summer bakhtak species are artificially grown in the fish farms of the Ararat Valley. The summer bakhtak and the Sevan geharkuni, as well as the Sevan beghlu, are included in the Red Book of Armenia.
Sevan white fish or Sevan whitefish is species of fish introduced into the ecosystem of Lake Sevan. Based on the structural differences revealed as a result of Dadikyan’s research, the hypothesis of the hybrid origin of the Sevan whitefish was accepted in 1986, according to which it was proposed to separate the Sevan whitefish as a new subspecies.