I really don't know why these aren't included in the fish identification tables in the regs. They are one of the most common fish in BC. I know someone who killed one thinking it was a kokanee. He was quite surprised when he tried cooking it.
No, they are not. but they do like to feed on salmon and steelhead eggs and fry.
When I was growing up they were called squaw fish and if you caught one it was doomed.
Since they are not an invasive species they are part of the ecological make up of many streams and rivers ( they serve as a clean up service...).
Their purpose may not be knownst to many of those that fish, but to the ecological balance I think they pose a lesser threat than others with rods.
In certain areas they may be a pest, and perhaps they may be more abundant in overfished (wrecked reds areas).
In the grand scheme of things they serve a purpose.
whether it's cleaning up the dropped row, the bad eggs, or the fry who were'nt fast enough Leaving us with the best.
When the fry/smolt hit the ocean they have a new crew of enemies but no one's going on about them.
The fittest will survive.
Oh those limp fish. I once caught a 2-3 lbs one and it was HUGE. When I was reeling it in, I honestly thought I caught a branch because it didn't fight at all. Since it's garbage fish, I killed it and fed it to the seagulls.
Spent my 2 weeks every summer camping in Peachland with my parents growing up.
These Squawfish kept us kids busy every day. Could catch as many as you wanted. This was on Okanogan Lake.
Biggest was over 5 pounds.
Most of them were tossed onto the road, to watch the cars run them over, ah the good old days ............
My Gram used to keep them and bury them in her garden. Where I live I can watch small schools of these fish hanging out at the tail end of the spawning channel swarming over any salmon eggs that drift by. Caught a big one in the Arrow lakes once. Not sure about rivers, but in a lake if your catching squaw fish your trolling too slow. It doesn't take much of an increase in speed to stop catching them. I've also watched squaw fish "corral" schools of minnows against warm water beaches in the lake and eat them at their own leisure. Also heard something about some kind of coarse fish derby in the Kamloops area. Heard that a squaw fish won it two years in a row. Can't be sure about that though.
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