Diving in the Siberian Federal District

The province of Siberia occupies 25% of Russia’s landmass and encompasses most of Northern Asia. Lowland Western Siberia, highland Eastern Siberia, and mountainous Southern Siberia make up this vast landscape. Believe it or not, but amidst this icy tundra, there are plenty of opportunities to go scuba diving in Siberia; however, diving here is not for the faint of heart. Those adventurous enough to travel to this cold environment will need experience in ice diving and using a dry suit.

The most popular dive site in Siberia is Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is the world’s oldest and deepest lake, containing 19% of the planet’s fresh lake water, and is affectionately known as the Pearl of Siberia. Diving Lake Baikal usually occurs via ice diving and regularly offers 40 meters of crystal-clear visibility.

Diving in Lake Baikal, you will experience an underwater world like nowhere else. Massive green sponge colonies cover the rocky bottom where the unique-looking endemic acanthogammaridae crustaceans thrive along with shrimp, bullheads, and schooling graylings. Lucky divers will encounter the endemic Baikal seal or nerpa. This adorable, small seal is the only freshwater pinniped species and offers divers a memorable Russian diving experience.

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Wildlife in Siberian Federal District

The crystal-clear cold waters of Siberia are home to many freshwater fish species such as trout, sterlet, perch, bream, tench, pike, pike perch, ide, lenok, burbot, and crucian carp. Lake Baikal, the largest, deepest, and oldest lake globally is home to unique wildlife and offers incredible underwater encounters. There are 2630 species of animals and plants in Lake Baikal, 2/3 of which are endemic. The most remarkable fish are Baikal omul, grayling, whitefish, Baikal sturgeon, taimen, and golomnyanka. Probably the most sought-after Siberia diving encounter is with the Baikal seal. The only freshwater pinniped species, this endemic seal basks in the sun by the hundreds along Lake Baikal’s shore.

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