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What is a Lenok?

A Lenok is a fascinating freshwater fish, native to the cold, clear rivers of Northeast Asia. With its distinctive, shimmering scales and elongated body, the Lenok thrives in swift currents, offering a unique glimpse into the region's aquatic biodiversity. Discover how the Lenok's existence is pivotal to its ecosystem—what secrets does this elusive creature hold? Continue reading to uncover the mystery.
Harriette Halepis
Harriette Halepis

A lenok is a type of fish that is part of the wild salmon species. These fish are usually found in Asia, though some lenoks can also be found in Russia. Lenoks can also be called Manchurian trout, Asiatic trout, and native salmon. Typically, the fish can be found swimming upstream, where the water is cold, in various rivers throughout Asia.

A lenok can grow to be 20 inches (50.8 cm). It can be difficult to discern a lenok from other fish, since these fish have both pointy and round noses. Many of these also have spots, though some of these fish do not have any marks. Weight-wise, a lenok can weigh more than 33 pounds (15 kg).

Any lenok fish caught in Korea must be released back into the wild.
Any lenok fish caught in Korea must be released back into the wild.

During the glacial epoch, lenoks were landlocked in Korea, where they are now rare due to over-fishing. Within recent years, the lenok has been placed on Korea's protected species list. As a result, any of the fish that are captured by fishermen in Korea must be released back into the wild. Lenok fishing season within Korea ranges from March to November each year.

As a sport fish, lenoks are not difficult to catch. Typically, these fish will hunt for any bait that is thrown in front of them. The hardest part about capturing a lenok is determining when they are no longer migrating. Due to the fact that these fish migrate each year, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when they return to river waters.

Lenoks feed mostly on flies and other small insects. When fishing for Manchurian trout, it is best to use bait that resembles a fly or other small insect. Anyone wishing to fish for Manchurian trout within Korea must contact Korean authorities. Lenoks are not endangered in other parts of the world, though a legal fishing license is required in order to fish in any water.

Many people enjoy fishing for Manchurian trout, since these fish are interesting to look at. While not overly large, lenoks are unlike most other fish that are part of the salmon species. Interesting patterns and colors make these fish fun for people who enjoy fly fishing. Throughout Korea, many different fishing expeditions are constructed regularly in order to help amateur fishermen catch a glimpse of the Manchurian trout. Asiatic trout cannot be found in the wild throughout North America. While some people attempt to keep these fish as pets, lenoks do not usually survive outside of their native home.

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    • Any lenok fish caught in Korea must be released back into the wild.
      By: Ruslan Olinchuk
      Any lenok fish caught in Korea must be released back into the wild.