Steeler Sea Lions fishing for Eulachon

Eulachon, also known by other names including Oolichan, Ooligan, Hooligan, or Candle Fish, are a small oily member of the smelt family. They are an anadromous species meaning the live in salt water but spawn in fresh water. Their scientific name is Thaleichthys Pacificus which is derived from the Greek words Thaleia, meaning rich, Ichthys, meaning fish, and Pacificus, meaning they live in the Pacific Ocean. Each spring Eulachon migrate into some of the major river systems along the west coast of North America. On the Skeena River these fish move upstream to spawn during the month of March, followed by a parade of Glaucus-Winged Gulls, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, and Harbour Seals who follow them on the rising tides to feed on the bounty. Eulachon have also historically been a staple food source for First Nations people who render the oils from the fish as well as preparing them by air drying or smoking.
Date Added
March 24, 2018