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Thread: Question for a fish biologist:

  1. #1
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Question for a fish biologist:

    Last night, when I was fishing People's Hole on the Kasilof, I observed 4 creatures the like of which I have never seen in my 40 plus years here.

    I was about hip level in the main river (the only one fishing there in the rain), when a 4-5" undulating critter swam past me going downstream. I wrote it off as an anomaly, but not long afterward another one came up near me through the silty water and swam down stream as well. I spotted two more doing the same thing. None were close enough for me to grab, and with the current and a bum hip, I didn't attempt to go after them.

    Having spent my youngest years in Montana, I remember how water snakes swim. These swam like a snake, with their heads held up to the surface. They were dark brown in color, and looked like a very stretched out tadpole, as they had a head larger than their body. They were definitely not leeches.

    All were headed downstream, so my theory is that it was an outmigration of some sort of eel, but I didn't think we had any around these parts. Any ideas as to what they were?

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  3. #3
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default That...

    ... would be my best guess too, but why on the surface?

  4. #4

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    My guess is a Pacific Lamprey. I've seen and caught in traps a lot of these on Deshka river while doing out going smolt projects. Trapped a few that went three to four feet in length. That's my best guess.

  5. #5

    Default eels....

    Sounds like a eel to me..........

  6. #6

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    Could have been a sculpin.

  7. #7
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Default

    Without a doubt a lamprey. The juveniles outmigrate at the size you mentioned and return a few years later as adults in June and July.

  8. #8
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Thanks!

    Mystery (probably) solved. But three to four foot lamprey... that's nasty!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Mystery (probably) solved. But three to four foot lamprey... that's nasty!
    Smoke em! One of the best smoked fish I've ever had. We used to go out with lamps at night and gaff up bags of them in Northern California.

    Many, many years ago, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I could find a dense run like we used to see. You'd find whole big "ropes" of them clinging to each other and working their way up over low waterfalls. Score!

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