Freshwater

CUT THROAT TROUT

CUT THROAT TROUT

CUT THROAT TROUT | Oncorhynchus Clarkii – Sitka Alaska
occur as sea-run or resident (non-sea run) forms in streams and lakes along the coastal range from lower Southeast Alaska to Prince William Sound and are the most common trout species in the region. The resident form lives in a wide variety of habitats from small headwater tributaries and bog ponds to large lakes and rivers. Sea-run cutthroat are usually found in river or stream systems with accessible lakes, mostly south of Fredrick Sound. In some watersheds, like the Taku River, the two forms are found together. The extent of breeding between the two forms is unknown, and the reason that some fish migrate to sea while others stay in fresh water remains an intriguing question. Click here to learn more.

RAINBOW TROUT

RAINBOW TROUT

RAINBOW TROUT | Oncorhynchus mykiss – Sitka Alaska
is one of the most respected and sought after of Alaska’s native game fishes. Serious anglers from the world over are drawn to Alaska to experience the thrill of challenging this hard fighting salmonid in the state’s wilderness waters.Rainbow trout are native to waters throughout Southeast Alaska west to Kuskokwim Bay, and as far up the Kuskokwim River as Sleetmute. The clearwater lakes and streams draining into Bristol Bay provide outstanding habitat. Rainbow trout occur naturally on the Kenai Peninsula, throughout the fresh waters of Upper Cook Inlet, on Kodiak Island, and in the Copper River drainage. Release of hatchery-reared Alaska rainbow trout has extended the range of resident rainbows to specific lakes and streams in the Tanana River drainage near Fairbanks.  Click here to learn more.

DOLLY VARDEN - CHARThe Dolly Varden – Salvelinus malma Walbaum
present in North America in both the anadromous (seagoing) and the nonanadromous (freshwater resident) forms. It is distributed throughout the polar regions and is the most northerly distributed of char and its closely related cousin, the Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma Walbaum). It was only in the 1980s that taxonomists established the relationship between these species in North America. This relationship, however, is still under consideration by some scientists.

There are some external characteristics which can be used to differentiate between Arctic char and Dolly Varden. Arctic char generally have a shorter head and snout, a trait particularly evident in spawning males. The tail of an Arctic char has a slightly deeper fork than that of a Dolly Varden, and the base of the Arctic char’s tail is narrower.

SALMON (August – Fresh Water)
In Alaska, the crossing-over to other streams allows salmon to populate new streams, such as those that emerge as a glacier retreats. The precise method salmon use to navigate has not been entirely established, though their keen sense of smell is involved. In all species of Pacific salmon, the mature individuals die within a few days or weeks of spawning, a trait known as semelparity. However, even in those species of salmon that may survive to spawn more than once (iteroparity), post-spawning mortality is quite high (perhaps as high as 40 to 50%.)

In order to lay her roe, the female salmon uses her tail (caudal fin), to create a low pressure zone, lifting gravel to be swept downstream, excavating a shallow depression, called a redd. The redd may sometimes contain 5,000 eggs covering 30 square feet (2.8 m2). The eggs usually range from orange to red in color. One or more males will approach the female in her redd, depositing his sperm, or milt, over the roe.The female then covers the eggs by disturbing the gravel at the upstream edge of the depression before moving on to make another redd. The female will make as many as 7 redds before her supply of eggs is exhausted. The salmon will then die within a few days of spawning.

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