Fisher believes he caught a char and trout hybrid

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Tyler Akeeagok pulled an unusual fish from his net a few kilometres east of Kugluktuk on July 17.

Tyler Akeeagok suspects this fish caught in his net near Kugluktuk is a hybrid Arctic char and lake trout. The head resembles a char while the body resembles a trout. The specimen weighs close to 15 pounds. photo courtesy of Tyler Akeeagok

He thinks it’s a mix of Arctic char and lake trout.

“It had features of a lake trout within the body but when you look at the head it had features of Arctic char. It had a hint of green so you could tell it was hybrid,” Akeeagok said, adding that he’s never seen anything like it in close to 15 years of fishing and he was initially unsure of the species. “I was very confused. Me and my girlfriend were deciding if it was a lake trout or if it was a char. We couldn’t make it out until we got home and talked to my dad… It was quite the find.”

The gutted fish weighs about 15 pounds. It’s currently in the Kugluktuk Hunters and Trappers Organization’s freezer. There happens to be some researchers from the University of Waterloo and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the community for a char tagging program, said Amanda Dumond, manager of the Kugluktuk HTO. She said the researchers will take a look at Akeeagok’s fish to see if they can determine whether it’s the spawn of a char and a trout.

Dumond said she’s never heard of anything like it before.

Tyler Akeeagok holds up a fish that’s possibly a combination of Arctic char and lake trout. He caught it in his net near Kugluktuk in mid-July. photo courtesy of Tyler Akeeagok