Oolichan Fish

British Columbia, Canada

There are numerous spellings and names of the Oolichan fish:

  • Oolichan
  • Eulachon
  • Candle-fish
  • Thaleichthys Pacificus
  • Hooligan
  • Ooligan
  • Uthlecan
  • Smelt

In March, a month earlier than the Fraser, the Oolichans enter the Nass River.

The Natives in the area, used this little fish for many purposes.
Trade being one of the, thus the Grease Trails were formed.
They can be eaten cooked, dried, smoked, or rendered for oil.
The fat was collected by steaming the fish with hot stones.
When it was cold the fat looked like lard.
These little fish also come up the Skeena River.
Today only the natives are allowed to fish for them.
Being so small they are netted, from the shore and boats.

Another use of the fish was for light.
Fish strung on string (wick) 2 yards long, and nailed to a board, were lit and this created a torch.
This is where the name Candle-fish came from.
I found this in an old 1906 book.

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  • Last modified: 2017/11/20 11:01
  • by dlgent