Nov 24 2020

Whitefish Fishing 1: Fishing

Published by at 7:28 pm under Catching Animals,Foods


Late autumn is the primary time for fishing European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) in these parts. They used to river spawn in a big river connected to this lake, but some stupid and unnecessary decisions in regards to some hydroelectric stuff destroyed that fishing. Currently they can thus only spawn in the lake itself.

This lake could sustain a fishing of 30 tonnes whitefish a year, but I doubt more than a ton is fished every year. Despite this, the fish is of fair size and quality, however probably gradually decreasing.

The local saying is that when the snow is on the ground the fishing is the best. This year the snow is quite late, but the fish are still spawning. However, not in the sheer numbers we might get later and which we also saw last year when snow was on the ground. Water temperature is the trigger and although I don’t know the exact temperature, we generally have the best catches between 2 and 5 metres depth at this time of the year.

At other times you might need to go a lot deeper, except in a few special locations, where they appear to go shallow pretty much all year.

We set the nets from land and out. Catches are often poor closest too land and in deep water, but we always diversify a bit in case there has been a change in water temperature.

There is not much else to be said for this fishing other than that the nets are set overnight and taken up in the morning. When the fishing is prime we can get 50kg a day or more, depending on how many gill nets we use.

Side catch in this particular lake is brown trout (Salmo trutta) and arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). They have their own special seasons, but occasionally appear in whitefish catches, very much dependent upon locality.

The catch is given away, eaten right away or salted for future use.


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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Whitefish Fishing 1: Fishing”

  1. Survival Acreson 25 Nov 2020 at 1:47 am

    Hi Torjus.

    I just read the Narwhal that the whitefish I used to catch were poisoned with selenium from the Canadian coal mines. Nobody on the lake actually ate the whitefish, they were considered undesirable and a side catch while fishing for kokanee. Is there any mining tailings around the lake? I wasn’t aware that this body of water had been poisoned like this until today.

    Nowadays, I live next to a major river and it too is poisoned by industry. The local Indian tribe has fought against the river pollution for years (caused by a paper mill), which finally shut down this year. And we barely beat a toxic silicon smelter proposal that was proposed to be built right in town.

    Industry has been good and bad for humans, but bad everywhere for the environment. Anyone wanting to live of the land or harvest natural food has to watch out for toxins and poisons bio-accumulating in the food chain.

    Your country may be cleaner (or not) then the US, but under Trump, the Administration rolled back all kinds of environmental protections affecting clean air, clean water, mining and oil extraction / fracking. I’m hoping they will be restored asap.

  2. Torjus Gaarenon 27 Nov 2020 at 8:52 pm


    Sad to hear about the pollution in your area. The water here is perfectly fine. No major industry of any kind in the vicinity.

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