A Vancouver Fisherman found a barracuda in his net while fishing in the Alberni Inlet earlier this week||Photo Courtesy of Tyler Vogrig
A Vancouver fisherman got a rare experience earlier this week while fishing in the Alberni Inlet. Tyler Vogrig was fishing for salmon with his dad on their boat, Nita Maria, when seals chased a 12-pound barracuda into their net.
“It was just something completely out of the ordinary and I really think it’s definitely a one-in-a-million,” said Vogrig. He added he is used to fishing for barracuda when vacationing in Hawaii, but has never seen them in Canada
The first barracuda collected in BC waters was in Sooke in 1904, according to the Royal BC Museum database. This is the only barracuda in the museum’s collection, though there have been sightings since.
“They Have been documented as far North as the Gulf of Alaska, but are typically most abundant on the Californian coast, where they are a popular sport fish. Not unheard of here, but certainly unusual,” said Justin Lisaingo, senior aquarium biologist at the Vancouver Aquarium. He said the fish could have followed warm ocean currents and wound up farther north than it expected.
The Pacific Barracuda, according to marinebio.org, rarely grows larger than 10 pounds And 1.2 metres. It has a reputation for being a voracious hunter and is feared by some swimmers, though attacks on humans are rare.
After consulting with Fisheries Canada, taking a few photos and letting the metre-long fish recover in a revival tank, Vogrig was told it was OK to release it back into the water.
“Seeing predominantly southern ranging species in BC waters is always an interesting story and a good reminder of how much our marine environments are changing,” said Laura Borden, Howe Sound research group manager at the Vancouver Aquarium.