Competing for Fish

When you’re commercial fishing or even sport fishing, there’s always competition for the catch. These trollers are hoping to catch a few chinook (spring) salmon (King or Tyee to the Americans). The salmon have been given so many names in hopes of confusing those who would like to catch and eat them.

The trollers are anchored for the night and who comes along looking for supper, but a killer whale. Oh, sorry. For those of you who are easily offended, let’s call him a less harmful name – orca. He usually comes with the whole “wolf pack” for a more certain kill.

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Not only do they hang around the trollers to try to catch a salmon but they check out the sporties too.

Photo courtesy of Fern Handy, Haida Gwaii.

If the killer whales don’t get the salmon, there are always a few sea lions around looking for a free lunch. Looks like this one got it. That’s a nice fat spring salmon in its jaws.

Photo courtesy of Fern Handy, Haida Gwaii.

And only moments earlier you thought you’d be having salmon for supper.

25 thoughts on “Competing for Fish

  1. reocochran

    It is not a “dog eat dog world” out there where your Captain and trollers (do you sometimes hear about “trawlers?”) are trying to catch salmon. Anneli, great photos along with interesting events. I was hoping for a salmon dinner: darn! 😦

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Trawlers and trollers are very different in their method of fishing. Trollers drag six lines with lures and hooks on them, somewhat in sport fishing fashion, while trawlers drag nets on the bottom. Very different fisheries.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I think you misunderstood, Dina. The lady who took the photo has a unique name. She lives in the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii) and her name is Fern Handy. I know you call your cell phones a “handy” but I assure you this is her surname. She sent me the whale and sea lion photos with permission to use them.

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  2. Lori

    Wow, excellent shots. I couldn’t imagine a leisurely day at boating and/or fishing, and that giant fin popping up. Yikes! I saw dolphins swim near shore at the beach many times in Florida, but never have I encountered a whale or sea lion. Very cool.

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  3. shoreacres

    No whales or sea lions here, but there are plenty of stories making the rounds just now about inexperienced wade fishermen who keep their catch on a stringer attached to their belt. Not such a good idea when the sand and nurse sharks are about (and maybe others). Those sharks aren’t stupid — they’re just as ready as your friends to cadge a free and easy meal!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I can’t believe anyone would do that!!! But of course, there are people out there who would. Nothing like making yourself shark bait. The waters were warmer up north this summer and apparently there were more sharks (not sure what kind) and lots of salmon heads caught by commercial fishermen while the sharks took off with the back end of the big springs.

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