Saline lakes, especially those with lower salt concentrations and ion species dominated by Na and Cl, can have complex food webs and be extremely productive. In fact some saline lakes support robust fisheries (e.g., Lake Issyk-kul, Caspian Sea, Lake Balkhash, Lake Chany complex, Siberia). Lake Issyk-kul, a large mesohaline (6000 mgl-1) sodium-sulphate-chloride lake in northeastern Kirghizia has 299 species of phytoplankton, 154 zooplankton species, 176 species of benthic invertebrates and 27 fish taxa in five families. Although the Caspian Sea once supported 82% of the world's sturgeon population, recent water regulation and falling water levels have caused many spawning grounds to disappear and sturgeon catches to decline. Fish survival in saline systems is limited not only by salt concentration but also by specific types of ions present.

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