Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dolly or Char? Does it Matter?

All of the fish species on my Alaska adventure were fun to catch, but perhaps the one(s) I found most interesting were the char and dolly varden. Depending on who you talk to: 1) they are the same fish, 2) small ones are dollies, big ones are char, 3) dollies spend their whole life in freshwater, char drop into the ocean and then follow the salmon in.

Regardless, they are amazingly strong for their size and trying to unhook one was like handling a wiggling popsicle. Some we caught were bright silver, in the rivermouth at Naknek Lake, with ascending sockeyes. At another spot, they were in from the salt and a ways upstream already with spawning king and chum salmon. these fish started to color up.

Here Dr. Allen Carnes holds a sizeable specimen just in from Naknek Lake and showing a touch of color. In this cold, harsh environment these fish may only grow an inch or so a year, so this one has a been around for a while.

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