Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by miyawaki, May 8, 2013.
Now that the Chum fry have migrated, it's time to be thinking candlefish and surf smelt.
Great (and useful) image - a clear case of when a picture says a thousand words. I'll tie some up tonight!
So the Chum smolt are out of the sound?
Your photo is that of Sand Lances. Candlefish is a whole different animal.
The Sandlance has long been called Candlefish in Puget Sound.My Grandfather always called them that. All the Oldtimers at the boat houses (when we still had them) refered to these fish as Candlefish.
Maybe so but incorrect. A sand eel/lance won't "burn" like a true candlefish hence the name "candlefish".
This is a candlefish, Thaleichthys pacificus. More fish like and has an adipose fin.
Alaskans know the difference.
A question comes to mind: what name is used by Puget Sounders for true Candlefish? (Please don't say "Sand Lance". They are sometimes called ooligan (sp), eulachon (sp).
THose Sand Lance look mighty big for this time of year. Look more like September lance. Is that a recent photo?
Not at all, the cutts were hammering them in Hood Canal this morning.
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Not so. Don't put your "Chum Babies" in mothballs yet.
I was amazed at how many chum fry we have seen in the last few days. School after school in the South Sound areas I fish. Today saw them in the 2.75 "to 3" length. Glad to see so many in the waters I regularly fish. Plenty of food for the cutts and hopefully enough will make it back so there will be one or two that will take my fly.
Jack has nailed the "candlefish".
While chum fry are found in Puget Sound well into the summer by the time they reach 2 to 3 inches in length they move off shore and are typically found suspended in deep water. Could the "chum fry" have been another salmon? It is about time for the hatcheries to be releasing Chinook and coho smolts; that size sounds about right for "90 day" Chinook smolts.
I have always known these as columbia river smelt
Yes, they are called Columbia River Smelt in the Columbia. Same critter, Thaleichthys Pacificus.
I sometimes fish with my buddy for sturgeon on the Fraser. We use them as bait, and they call them Eulechons.
The "chum fry" I looked at today were, I'm really sure, indeed chum. The waters I was fishing are well known to me and these are "wild" fish. The small salmon I have been catching were I'm pretty sure cohos and were 4".
In my haste to return them to the water I didn't get any photos.
Thanks, Curt. Good to have an "expert" on board the good ship WFF
Yesterday, 5/12, I took a good friend of mine, a fisheries guy, fishing and we happened to catch one of the smolts - 5 inches. He most definitely identified it as a coho. We stopped fishing in that area so we wouldn't catch any more or injure any.
Good to see the cohos.
Yes, Eulachon. I had to look up the spelling. I always get it wrong. Dictionary says "another name for Candlefish".
This might be a good time to explain my pet peeve about the name Candlefish.
I am familiar with the Candlefish as a result of my involvement in Northwest Coast style native American wood carving. Many of the bowls/dishes I make are called oil/grease dishes. They were used to hold oil rendered from the candlefish. Dried salmon was dipped into the oil to make the fish more palatable. The candlefish were captured in large quantities and boiled and rendered in large "vats".
Sorry, forgive me. Couldn't resist.
That would definitely entice an east coast bluefish who is looking to crash the party.
Jack...great new pattern! I'll have to tie some of those!
We used to dip smelt in the Cowlitz years ago. Are they a different species then those encountered on Puget Sound beaches or in the surf on the coast?
I think we are at a point in this thread were we ought to be seeking "professional help". NO, not THAT kind of professional help. I mean fisheries biologist type help.
I do know for sure that there are freshwater smelt, saltwater smelt, and, anadromous smelt. Whether the smelt you dipped in the Cowlitz are the same as the smelt we have in Puget Sound I am not sure. I suspect not.
Maybe Smalma will chime in and help us out with this.