Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus)

Identification: Body elongate, snout pointed and mouth oblique. Small pointed teeth on both jaws. Concentric markings are present on the operculum. Colour is brown to blue-black on the back and top of the head, sides are lighter to silvery-white, and ventral surface is white. Fine, sparse speckling present on the back. Length about 203 mm.

Life History: Occurs only along the west coast of North America. Anadromous. Moves short distances up coastal freshwater streams to spawn. The spawning migration lasts from mid-MR.h to mid-May. No nest is built, the eggs are scattered and abandoned. The larvae are carried out to sea by the currents shortly after hatching. Most adults die after spawning, although some may survive to spawn a second time.

Feeding: Feed primarily on euphausiids, crustaceans and cumaceans. Feeding ceases upon entry into freshwater.


Scott, W and Crossman, E. 1973. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Bulletin 184. Ottawa, Ontario.

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