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Thread: Char Question.

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    Member Raffpappy's Avatar
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    Default Char Question.

    Does this species spawn successfully in lakes, specifically those fish planted annually by ADF&G? I've read some articles that say char have several sub-species, some of which are listed as "dwarves" and reside in landlocked lakes, where they have self-sustaining populations. A char I got the other day was stuffed to the gills with eggs, char eggs I assumed because they spawn in the winter and are in spawning colors right now. Just curious. It would be nice if the diploid fish are capable of augmenting the annual plants!

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    I would think they would be like any other diploid trout or salmon and could successfully spawn if the lake has a feeder creek with the proper environment (fast clear water over gravel.) They go through the process in lakes, there's just no place for the eggs to survive and develop in still water and muddy bottoms.

    That's why the state uses triploid fish in lakes with a chance of an escapement to another lake or stream with naturally existing populations.

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    Smile Char . .

    Dolly Varden Lake down here on the Peninsula hosts a self-sustaining population of Arctic Char that have been there since the last ice age. The fish get as big as two to three pounds. I don't think the lake is fed by a stream.

    A couple times, after fishing some years back, a retired fish biologist took flesh samples from my fish and sent them to a lab in Canada. According the the lab, the fish here are of the same genetic stock as the char in Kamchatka.

    Attachment 54869

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    Lake Trout (char) , Arctic Char, and dolly varden char can successful reproduce in the landlocked lake... they are broadcast spawners that spread their eggs on gravelly stretches of shallow water...ADFG planted lakers and arctic char in sand lake in anchorage many years ago, and they had a good reproducing population until they poisoned the lake to kill the pike....Long lake on the glenn highway is one landlocked lake that has a reproducing population of lake trout...Beer can lake in south anchorage has been stocked for years with char but i dont believe the lake is large enough or deep enough to support a pop. of char.....the big char that adfg is stocking in many lakes are "brood stock" meaning they are of mature breeding size and age and are meant to start new populations...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt...



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    Default Mental note to self: drink coffee first before typing.

    Some species of char (like salvelinus alpinus or Arctic Char) are lake spawners and others (like salvelinus malmo or Dolly Varden) are creek spawners. The char species stocked from the Richardson hatchery and labeled as arctic char are malmo aka Dolly Varden orignally from the Bristol Bay area. So true arctic char are definitely capable and happy spawning in lakes as are lake trout (salvelinus namaycush.)

    Marcus, the char in Dolly Varden lake area are alpinus,so yeah, they've been there a LONG time. Any

    Beer can lake and Sand lake have been stocked with malmo char at least annually since 2002. Sand lake has been stocked every year since 2002 except for 2009 when none were put in. The big broodstock char are culled from the hatchery since they are excess above whats needed there.

    Long lake was stocked with lake trout back in 1996 and they dumped 20,000 of them in there in 2000. I sure hope they settled in and started making new generations! Hopefully the new Hernandez hatchery will resume lake trout stocking since it was eliminated back in 2001.

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    The char in the stocked gravel pits don't spawn, or if they do, the young don't survive. All those pits get a super-low oxygen level in late winter that kills just about everything except whitefish, pike, and some mature stocked trout and char. Some years everything dies. I remember a winterkill on Polaris Lake in 2001--you should have seen what was in there! 30lb pike, whitefish by the 100's, and thousands of nice trout and char. Talk to the guys over at the Nat Resources office, they check oxygen throughout the winter and report it to the state.

    You'll see on the base lakes as winter progresses, the fishing gets slower and slower. Catch all you can before mid Jan because after that they're hard to find. Have you tried pike fishing? There used to be really nice pike in some of those pits, but I haven't fished on Eielson since 2005 or so.

    If this is your first winter here, you'll want to head to Quartz for the best winter fishing on the road system. Fish it just like you do the pits.

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    Member Raffpappy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies, gents. Blue Tarp, I plan on fishing pike this winter as I saw some pike in Polaris and some bigger pike in Mullins Pit. One guy I talked to said his buddy got a 28 lb. pike from Mullins last year. I was fly fishing Polaris in late August of this year and had a chunky 15-16" char which I'd hung go absolutely nuts at my pontoon boat. Odd, I thought, until I saw a pike of 40" or so trying to chase him down! I doubled down on that char and forced him to the net before that northern could grab him! I made sure that pike was gone before releasing that char to fight another day. I did catch several small pike in the base lakes this summer while stripping large streamer patterns. Nasty, stinking fish that leave a strong odor on everything they touch!

    I will be heading to Quartz soon as I've heard good things about it's rainbows. I can't find any sizable bows locally, just dinks in the 12" range. Grayling Lake on the other side of the highway has a good population of these little guys.

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    Default Grayling Lake?

    This came out a couple years ago....

    pike EAFB.jpg
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    I think is a char? haha
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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    Quote Originally Posted by sibir View Post
    Some species of char (like salvelinus alpinus or Arctic Char) are lake spawners and others (like salvelinus malmo or Dolly Varden) are creek spawners. The char species stocked from the Richardson hatchery and labeled as arctic char are malmo aka Dolly Varden orignally from the Bristol Bay area. So true arctic char are definitely capable and happy spawning in lakes as are lake trout (salvelinus namaycush.)

    Marcus, the char in Dolly Varden lake area are alpinus,so yeah, they've been there a LONG time. Any

    Beer can lake and Sand lake have been stocked with malmo char at least annually since 2002. Sand lake has been stocked every year since 2002 except for 2009 when none were put in. The big broodstock char are culled from the hatchery since they are excess above whats needed there.

    Long lake was stocked with lake trout back in 1996 and they dumped 20,000 of them in there in 2000. I sure hope they settled in and started making new generations! Hopefully the new Hernandez hatchery will resume lake trout stocking since it was eliminated back in 2001.
    For clarification, the char from Ft. Rich. hatchery are indeed Salvelinus alpinus (Arctic Char). The brood source is from Lake Aleknagic. I have first hand experience raising, feeding, spawning and stocking these fish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Dolly Varden Lake down here on the Peninsula hosts a self-sustaining population of Arctic Char that have been there since the last ice age. The fish get as big as two to three pounds. I don't think the lake is fed by a stream.

    A couple times, after fishing some years back, a retired fish biologist took flesh samples from my fish and sent them to a lab in Canada. According the the lab, the fish here are of the same genetic stock as the char in Kamchatka.

    Attachment 54869
    Is that you in the pic, Marcus? Man that fish on the right is way into spawn mode!

    The char and dollies we have in Alaska are amazing! The ones they get up north are unique and can turn almost black. The little lakes around here hold "golden fin" which are an amazingly hardy little fish found in such places as Slaughter Lake above Cooper Landing. I have heard that all the char out on the Swanson River area are of the same genetic stock, as Marcus indicated. They are even found in Cooper Lake for some reason. They are true survivors for sure, and tasty little beggars, but probably can't stand much fishing pressure.

    My son did a science fair project on differentiating between the dollies and char of Lake Aleknagik; as I recall, they are hard to distinguish, but they have differing numbers of gill rakers. My daughter once caught a char or dolly up on Aleknagik in early fall at Ice Creek. She fished up an old Pixie from the bottom of the steam mouth, shined it up a little, put it on her line and cast out. Bang! She landed one of the biggest char/dollies I've ever seen from that lake. And of course, being bush folks, we ate it up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Is that you in the pic, Marcus? Man that fish on the right is way into spawn mode!
    Yes, that's me, sayak, but that picture was taken a number of years ago. Jack Dean, the retired fish biologist who took the samples off my fish, told me the bright fish in the photo was about as big as the char get in DV lake. Thought about getting it mounted but decided not . . who would believe the colors? Jack said too that you can tell a Dolly from a char thusly—a Dolly's air bladder is white, a char's is pink. His words, not mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Yes, that's me, sayak, but that picture was taken a number of years ago. Jack Dean, the retired fish biologist who took the samples off my fish, told me the bright fish in the photo was about as big as the char get in DV lake. Thought about getting it mounted but decided not . . who would believe the colors? Jack said too that you can tell a Dolly from a char thusly—a Dolly's air bladder is white, a char's is pink. His words, not mine.
    He was the guy who had a cabin (now burned down) on Middle Finger Lake and just studied char?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    He was the guy who had a cabin (now burned down) on Middle Finger Lake and just studied char?
    Haven't a clue. He was retired (from the Feds, I think) when I met him. Someone told him I was fishing DV lake, he called, and asked to take samples. That's the extent of my knowledge about the guy. He was intensely interested in our char.

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