Mystery Fish Contest #13

Answer: Kokanee

Mystery BC fish species.

The mystery fish species in our thirteenth mystery fish species contest is a kokanee, or Oncorhynchus nerka, or landlocked sockeye salmon.

Kokanee are sockeye salmon that do not migrate into the ocean. Instead, they spend their entire life in a lake due to geographical barriers, which prevent them from migrating into the ocean. Due to access to less food than what adult sockeye salmon would consume in the ocean, adult kokanee are much smaller, ranging 1lb in coastal lakes to 6lb in productive interior BC lakes.

Like adult sockeye salmon, kokanee lack spots across their body, which is completely silver. Their eyes are generally much bigger compared to adult salmon in the ocean. This is a key characteristic used to identify a landlocked salmon.

Out of 298 entries, 268 participants (90%) were able to identify it correctly. This is not surprising because kokanee is a very popular freshwater gamefish in British Columbia. They can be caught in spring and summer by trolling, and in winter by ice fishing. It is an excellent target species for family fishing outings.

Congratulations Dave Armitage, who is the lucky winner out of the 268 correct entries. He wins two mini-pack spools of Maxima Ultragreen fishing lines (6lb and 8lb test)!