Most of the ports are on the southern end of the lake, which has readier access to Irkutsk, the capital of Siberia, through which the Lake Baikal catch is routed.
Preserving and Preparing Fish and Meat
In hot summer weather, there is only one good way to keep blowflies from laying their eggs on meat or fish, and that is to submerge it in brine. Many Indians and other local people smoke their meat, but the larvae burrow into it nonetheless. Smoking fish is easier, and in any case it improves the taste. Here is how it is done: Choose small trout, ten to fourteen inches long, and gut them without removing the heads. Soak them in brine for twenty-four hours. Hang them by the tail from sticks hung across the top of a smokehouse, which can be made of stone, canvas, bark, or even a metal drum from which both ends have been removed (this works very well). The smoke is provided by a fire that is not too hot, in which bits of firewood are mixed with rotten ash or birch. The fish is ready after forty-eight hours and will keep for about a month.
In winter, there is no problem keeping food or protecting it from flies living in a freezer has its advantages. The only hitch is that when temperatures drop very low (below -40° F), thawing meat and fish is a problem. No one wants to stand around the stove for two hours while dinner thaws, especially after a long day of tramping in the cold. The easiest method is to submerge the food in water, either directly when a river is open or by cutting a hole through the ice, and leave it there while you make camp. The meat or fish will be thawed a half-hour later, much more rapidly than over a fire.