Tyler Vogrig shows the barracuda he came across at Alberni Inlet. (Photo courtesy Tyler Vogrig)

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

In a rare occurrence, fishermen from Vancouver snagged a barracuda in Alberni Inlet when they were out on a salmon testing program for the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Tyler Vogrig and his dad were on board their vessel Nita Maria last week when a barracuda was chased into their net by seals.

Going by the sharp fang-like teeth and muscular body of the fish, Vogrig and his father immediately knew it was a barracuda.

They were “shocked” at first on seeing this particular species in British Columbia.

“I’ve come across many barracudas in Hawaii, but never really seen one in Canada,” Vogrig said.

Vogrig’s father consulted with the DFO immediately and after placing the barracuda in a revival tank for a while they released it back into the water. “The barracuda had slashes on its tail and we just wanted to give it some time to rest in the revival tank,” said Vogrig.

View this post on Instagram

OOOUUUUU Barracuda @thenitamaria

A post shared by Tyler Vogrig (@tylervogrig) on

Barracudas are predatory fish known for its ferocious behaviour and are usually found in tropical and subtropical waters. Although unusual in Canadian waters, barracudas have been spotted in the country before.

The first record along the eastern North Pacific coast was a specimen cataloged at the Royal BC Museum at Otter Point in Sooke, July 27, 1904. A specimen of barracuda found in 1999 in Nova Scotia, is also catalogued in the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, Halifax.

Jackie Hildering, a biologist and educator with the Marine Education and Research Society, who runs ‘The Marine Detective’ website said that while Pacific barracudas north of California are rare, there have been reports dating back many years as far north as Alaska.

“A few fish is not a trend,” said Hildering. But she also pointed that their presence is likely an indicator of a warmer current.

”The worry comes if their presence becomes more frequent due to climate change,” said Hildering.

Despite the barracuda’s ferocious behaviour, Hildering also said that instances of barracudas attacking humans are very rare.

“I would have no worries about the Barracuda regarding diver and swimmer safety. I have dived with them in the tropics and know to be wary but not afraid.”

READ ALSO: Moonsnails’ collar-shaped egg casings intrigue Vancouver Island beachcombers

Fisheries and Oceans Canadavancouverisland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Drive-in movies are coming to Port McNeill

Gate House Theatre expects to start running shows by September

Building contract announced for Woss’s new library

Prefabricated 1,400-sq.ft. building planned for small community library

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read