Valyok river in Taimyr named after fish

Valyok river in Taimyr named after fish

February 14, 2023

The word “valyok” means an oblong object, a rounded stick. In honor of this subject, the local fish was named.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. And the fish gave the names to the river, the mountain range from where it originates, as well as the village and the Norilsk sanatorium.

From the geologist Nikolay Urvantsev’s memoirs:

“In the evenings, our shepherds come to the chum to drink tea and talk. We ask what other rivers, besides the Elovaya and Listvyanka, flow into the Norilskaya river. Kostya says that there is also a river in which there is a round whitefish identified in the Krasnoyarsk ichthyological laboratory as a new species: Coregonus Cylindric. We called this river Valyok. Now, opposite its mouth, on the left bank, there is a pier and a settlement, also Valyok”.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a trading post opposite the Valyok river’s mouth. In the 1930s, the favorable location on Norilskaya river made it a hydroport. The first cargoes to Norilsk under construction – the so-called Pyasinsky caravans – came along the river and lake Pyasino exactly to Valyok. But this bold transport experiment failed: the Pyasina river was not passable enough for ships. Dudinka became the main logistics hub.

And Valyok remained a small village. The first narrow-gauge line leading to it remained unclaimed. It worked for some ten years, after which a highway was laid onto its canvas.

But a fishing office was based on Valyok, a fish factory worked. The river and hydroport continued to operate, from where seaplanes took off and boats left for fish. There was even a handicraft shipyard. In summer, Valyok became a place of rest for the Norilsk people – with a boat station and a summer restaurant.

In the History Spot’s we told that Taimyr had been considered in the 1940s as a new geological province – Tungbass.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

February 14, 2023

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