Clouds of hooligan running in the Chilkoot River
The hooligan are home! This small fish, properly a smelt, and properly identified as a eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus), migrates to the waters of Alaska’s fjords and inlets every spring. The other common name of “candlefish” derives from it being so fat during spawning, with up to 15% of 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 eulachon is from the Chinookan hooligan, eulachon, chilkoot river, Haines, AK, net fishing, Tlingit, Alaska, Lutaklanguage, which is identified by Wikipedia as a group of indigenous people along the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. Here in Haines, the hooligan run (among other inlets and rivers) in the Chilkoot and Chilkat Rivers.