The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Balaton

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BALATON, bŏ'lŏ-tōn, or PLATTENSEE, a lake in the southwest of Hungary, 55 miles southwest of Budapest, extending from lat. 46° 45' to 47° 5' N., and from long. 17° 14' to 18° 10' E.; area about 400 square miles, including the marshy shores. It receives the waters of more than 30 small streams. It discharges through the Kapos River, the Kapos Canal and the Sió, which empties into the Sarviz, an affluent of the Danube. The Balaton is constantly in a state of motion, sufficient to cause waves. Its waters are perfectly transparent and abound with fine fish, notably one called fogas, a variety of perch frequently 20 pounds in weight, and with delicious flesh of snowy whiteness. Another kind, resembling the herring, swarm in the lake during the winter in such shoals that fishermen sometimes haul 50 cartloads from under the ice in a single day. The northern bank is bounded by vine-clad hills, and the southern bank is low. The average depth of the lake is about 25 feet although a depth of over 100 feet is found near Tihany. It is the largest lake in Hungary.