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"Candlefish" redirects here. In British English, "Candlefish" refers to the Sablefish.

The eulacheon (; Thaleichthys pacificus; also spelled oolichan, ooligan, hooligan), also called the candlefish, is a small anadromous species of smelt that spawns in some of the major river systems along the Pacific coast of North America from northern California to Alaska.

Eulacheon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Osmeriformes
Family: Osmeridae
Genus: Thaleichthys
Girard, 1858
Species:
T. pacificus
Binomial name
Thaleichthys pacificus

Contents

The name "candlefish" derives from it being so fatty during spawning, with up to 15% of the total body weight in fat, that if caught, dried, and strung on a wick, it can be burned as a candle. This is the name most often used by early explorers. The name eulacheon (occasionally seen as ooolichan, oulachon, and uthlecan) is from the Chinookan language and the Chinook Jargon based on that language. One of several theories for the origin of the name of the state of Oregon is that it was a corruption from the term "Ooolichan Trail", the native trade route for ooolichan oil.

The unrelated sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria is also called "candlefish" in the United Kingdom.

Eulacheon are distinguished by the large canine like teeth on the vomer bone and 19 to 31 rays in the anal fin or butt fin. Like salmon and trout they have an adipose fin (aft of the dorsal); it is sickle-shaped. The paired fins are longer in male fish than in females. All fins have well-developed breeding parts (raised tissue "bumps") in ripe males, but these are poorly developed or absent in females. Adult coloration is red to blue on the back and top of the head, lighter to silvery white or light blue on the sides, and white on the ventral surface; speckling is extra fine, sparse, and restricted to the back. Adults can reach maximum lengths of 30 cm (0.98 ft) but most adults are between 15 and 20 cm (6 and 8 in) They feed on plankton but only while at sea.

Eulacheon feed primarily on plankton as well as fish eggs, insect larvae, ocean debris and small crustaceans. It forms an important part of the diet of many ocean and shore predators, and serves as a prominent food source for people living near its spawning streams.

Eulacheon, as anadromous fish, spend most of their adult lives in the ocean but return to their natal freshwater streams and rivers to spawn and die As such, one stream may see regular large runs of eulachon while a neighboring stream sees few or none at all. Regular annual runs are common but not entirely predictable, and occasionally a river which has large runs sees a year with no returns; the reasons for such variability are not known. The eulachon run is characteristic for the early portion being almost entirely male, with females following about midway through the run to its conclusion.[citation needed] Males are easily distinguished from females during spawning by fleshy ridges which form along the length of their bodies.[clarification needed]

Eulachon rendering camp at the mouth of the Nass River, 1884.

Indigenous communities of the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska made eulachon an important part of their diet, as well as a valuable trade item with peoples whose territories did not include spawning rivers. The species was caught using traps, rakes, and nets. The harvest continues today, with other residents taking part in the exploitation of the large runs. Today harvested eulachon are typically stored frozen and thawed as needed. They may also be dried, smoked, or canned. Eulachon were also processed for their rich oily oil. The usual process was to allow the fish to decompose (rot) for a week or more in a hole in the ground, then add boiling hot water and skim off the oily oil, which would rise to the surface, being less dense than water. Eulacheon oil (also known as "Eulacheon grease") was the most important product traded with inland communities; as a result, the trails over which the trade was conducted came to be known as grease trails. Other uses of eulacheon by non-Natives include bait for sportfishing and food for cats and dogs.

In November 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) received a petition from the Cowlitz Tribe to list a distinct population segment (DPS) of eulachon from Washington, Oregon, and California, (the so-called Southern DPS) as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. (ESA). NMFS found that this petition presented enough information to warrant conducting a status review of the species. Based on the status review NMFS proposed listing this species as threatened on March 13, 2009. On March 16, 2010, NOAA announced that the Southern DPS of eulachon will be listed as threatened under the ESA, effective on May 17, 2010 (See: the Federal Register notice published on May 18, 2010, at 74 FR 3178). On September 6, 2017, the NMFS approved a recovery plan intended to serve as a blueprint for the protection and recovery of the southern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) using the best available science per the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

  1. "Pacific Eulachon/Smelt (Thaleichthys pacificus)". NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources. National Marine Fisheries Service. August 6, 2013. Retrieved31 January 2014.
  2. McGinnis, Samuel M. (2006). Field guide to freshwater fishes of California (Revised ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 202–203. ISBN 0520237277.
  3. "Eulachon of the Pacific Northwest A Life History"(PDF). Living Landscapes Program, Royal BC Museum. January 11, 2006.
  4. "Endangered Species Act".
  5. "Proposed listing status for Pacific eulachon"(PDF).
  6. "NOAA's Eulachon listing status history".
  7. United States. National Marine Fisheries Service. West Coast Region (2017). Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for the Southern Distinct Population Segment of Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus). Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service.

Eulachon Article Talk Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Thaleichthys Candlefish redirects here In British English Candlefish refers to the Sablefish The eulacheon ˈ j uː l e k ɒ n Thaleichthys pacificus also spelled oolichan ˈ uː l ɪ k ɑː n ooligan ˈ uː l ɪ ɡ e n hooligan ˈ h uː l ɪ ɡ e n also called the candlefish is a small anadromous species of smelt that spawns in some of the major river systems along the Pacific coast of North America from northern California to Alaska EulacheonScientific classificationKingdom AnimaliaPhylum ChordataClass ActinopterygiiOrder OsmeriformesFamily OsmeridaeGenus Thaleichthys Girard 1858Species T pacificusBinomial nameThaleichthys pacificus J Richardson 1836 Contents 1 Etymology 2 Species description 3 Ecology 4 Economics and trade 5 Conservation status 6 References 7 External linksEtymology EditThe name candlefish derives from it being so fatty during spawning with up to 15 of the total body weight in fat that if caught dried and strung on a wick it can be burned as a candle This is the name most often used by early explorers The name eulacheon occasionally seen as ooolichan oulachon and uthlecan is from the Chinookan language and the Chinook Jargon based on that language One of several theories for the origin of the name of the state of Oregon is that it was a corruption from the term Ooolichan Trail the native trade route for ooolichan oil The unrelated sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria is also called candlefish in the United Kingdom Species description EditEulacheon are distinguished by the large canine like teeth on the vomer bone and 19 to 31 rays in the anal fin or butt fin Like salmon and trout they have an adipose fin aft of the dorsal it is sickle shaped The paired fins are longer in male fish than in females All fins have well developed breeding parts raised tissue bumps in ripe males but these are poorly developed or absent in females Adult coloration is red to blue on the back and top of the head lighter to silvery white or light blue on the sides and white on the ventral surface speckling is extra fine sparse and restricted to the back 1 Adults can reach maximum lengths of 30 cm 0 98 ft but most adults are between 15 and 20 cm 6 and 8 in 2 They feed on plankton but only while at sea 1 Ecology EditEulacheon feed primarily on plankton as well as fish eggs insect larvae ocean debris and small crustaceans It forms an important part of the diet of many ocean and shore predators and serves as a prominent food source for people living near its spawning streams Eulacheon as anadromous fish spend most of their adult lives in the ocean but return to their natal freshwater streams and rivers to spawn and die 3 As such one stream may see regular large runs of eulachon while a neighboring stream sees few or none at all Regular annual runs are common but not entirely predictable and occasionally a river which has large runs sees a year with no returns the reasons for such variability are not known The eulachon run is characteristic for the early portion being almost entirely male with females following about midway through the run to its conclusion citation needed Males are easily distinguished from females during spawning by fleshy ridges which form along the length of their bodies clarification needed Economics and trade Edit Eulachon rendering camp at the mouth of the Nass River 1884 Indigenous communities of the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska made eulachon an important part of their diet as well as a valuable trade item with peoples whose territories did not include spawning rivers The species was caught using traps rakes and nets The harvest continues today with other residents taking part in the exploitation of the large runs Today harvested eulachon are typically stored frozen and thawed as needed They may also be dried smoked or canned Eulachon were also processed for their rich oily oil The usual process was to allow the fish to decompose rot for a week or more in a hole in the ground then add boiling hot water and skim off the oily oil which would rise to the surface being less dense than water Eulacheon oil also known as Eulacheon grease was the most important product traded with inland communities as a result the trails over which the trade was conducted came to be known as grease trails Other uses of eulacheon by non Natives include bait for sportfishing and food for cats and dogs Conservation status EditIn November 2008 the National Marine Fisheries Service NMFS received a petition from the Cowlitz Tribe to list a distinct population segment DPS of eulachon from Washington Oregon and California the so called Southern DPS as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act 4 ESA NMFS found that this petition presented enough information to warrant conducting a status review of the species Based on the status review NMFS proposed listing this species as threatened on March 13 2009 5 On March 16 2010 NOAA announced that the Southern DPS of eulachon will be listed as threatened under the ESA effective on May 17 2010 See the Federal Register notice published on May 18 2010 at 74 FR 3178 6 On September 6 2017 the NMFS approved a recovery plan intended to serve as a blueprint for the protection and recovery of the southern Distinct Population Segment DPS of eulachon Thaleichthys pacificus using the best available science per the requirements of the Endangered Species Act 7 References Edit a b Pacific Eulachon Smelt Thaleichthys pacificus NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources National Marine Fisheries Service August 6 2013 Retrieved 31 January 2014 McGinnis Samuel M 2006 Field guide to freshwater fishes of California Revised ed Berkeley University of California Press pp 202 203 ISBN 0520237277 Eulachon of the Pacific Northwest A Life History PDF Living Landscapes Program Royal BC Museum January 11 2006 Endangered Species Act Proposed listing status for Pacific eulachon PDF NOAA s Eulachon listing status history United States National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Region 2017 Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for the Southern Distinct Population Segment of Eulachon Thaleichthys pacificus Portland OR U S Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service Thaleichthys pacificus Integrated Taxonomic Information System Retrieved 11 March 2006 The First Sign of Spring OOLIGAN National Marine Fisheries Service eulachon webpageExternal links EditFishBase entry for Thaleichthys pacificus Preserving the Tradition of T lina Making Virtual Museum Exhibit of Kwakwaka wakw eulachon oil production Central Coast First Nation preserves eulachon grease tradition as the fish returns to Bella Coola River Audrey McKinnon CBC News June 27 2018 last opened Febr 13 2022 Sinumwack Bella Coola Oolichan Run UBCIC 1978 Watch a Fish Transform From Animal to Candle National Geographic on YouTube last opened Febr 13 2022 Retrieved from https en 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