The river forms a wide delta, receiving water from some 200 tributaries (long rivers, small streams and brooks).
The Volga basin supplies 25% of all of Russia’s crops and one-fifth of its industrial fishing. It contains 70 species of fish, including 40 industrial (roach, herring, bream, pike-perch, wild carp, silurus, pike, sturgeon, sterlet and others).
The Volga has always been a major route connecting north and south. It is navigable from the town of Rzhev downstream. In the town of Tver it is 200 meters wide. Forty cities and towns, and 1,000 smaller settlements, lie along it, most of them on the high right bank, including Tver, Rybinsk, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ulianovsk, Samara, Saratov, Volgograd (Stalingrad, Tsaritsyn before 1917) and Astrakhan.