Zaisan Lake – the largest lake in the East Kazakhstan region. It is located in a tectonic intermountain basin, enclosed between the mountains of the Southern Altai and Saura Tarbagatai.
The history of exploration and development Zaisan closely linked with the names of Russian researchers: N. Przewalski, VV Sapozhnikov, A. Sedelnikova and others. A special place in the study of the works of the lake is given by GN Potanin, who visited the expedition on Zaisan in 1863.
Zaisan – fresh water lake. The absolute height of the reservoir basin – 386 m. The swimming pool area – 1.8 thousand. Km2, depth – 10 m. The lake is flowing in a flow of the river: the Black Irtysh, Kokpekty, Zharma, Kendirlik and others, as one follows the river – Irtysh. In connection with the creation of a body of water Bukhtarma hydroelectric lake increased to 5.5 thousand. Km2. Absolute water level fluctuations 328 cm annual fluctuation – an average of 102-249 cm. Mineralization of water does not exceed 100 mg / l, the color green, transparency – 1.3 m. Water sodium chloride-class. From November to April, the lake is covered with ice.
In Zaisan found 23 species of fish (17 – fisheries). There is a fishery for caviar production. Acclimatized muskrat. The lake is navigable.
At the lake a lot of names. More than 280 years ago, it was called Kyzyl-Poo, and later – Kortsan, sea Tengiz, for the special sound of surf waves – Hoshtu Nord (Lake bells), Nor-Zaisan. The legend associated with the name of Zaisan, says: “One’s jute-Kalmyks, extermination by hunger, found refuge in the lake, feed the fish, and were saved from starvation. So the lake became known Zaasing-nor – “good lake”.