Dama LeComte was out on a walk with her family at Sooke’s Whiffen Spit when her daughter Sadie spotted a fish in the distance. It was later identified as a King-of-the-salmon, a deep water fish. (Dama LeComte photo)

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

Dana LeComte couldn’t believe her eyes as she stared down at one massive eye staring back at her at Whiffin Spit on Saturday.

“It looked like a piece of metal from off a boat,” said the Sooke woman. “The fish was very long and very flat with a really neat fin down the top of it.”

Her 15-year-old daughter Sadie had just pointed out something silver a few hundred metres away as the family walked along the popular Sooke spot.

The mom-daughter duo quickly sent a photo back to Dana’s husband, Bob Liptrot, who was able to identify the fish from his copy of Saltwater Fish of British Columbia.

It was a Trachipterus altivelis, better known as King-of-the-salmon. Folklore has it the Makah, an Indigenous people on the Washington side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, believed the fish would lead salmon back to their spawning ground every year.

According to Marine Detective, a blog ran by co-founder and researcher for the Marine Education and Research Society Jackie Hildering, killing a King-of-the-salmon was not allowed, as it was believed to stop the salmon run from taking place.

ALSO READ: ‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

The slim, silver fish can be found from the Gulf of Alaska to Chile, specifically in deep water down to 9,000 metres, or 3,000 feet.

Without a fishy scent, LeComte believes the wide-eyed fish must have recently washed onto shore.

This isn’t the first time the King-of-the-salmon has been spotted on the South Island.

Hildering pointed out that the first one was found near Oak Bay on Sept. 21, 2017, with another a few days later on Sept. 26. A third was found in Sidney on Oct. 29 of the same year.

Three years later, LeComte has found the fourth.

“I left it there even though my husband said we should’ve brought it home,” LeComte chuckled. “Someone I knew ran down to find it back at Whiffin Spit a few hours later, and it was gone.”

READ MORE: Rare spider sneaks out of hiding in Langford


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

FishSooke

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

Just Posted

Emily Harris (centre) started the in-person Monarch Moms meet-up groups in July, when it was much easier to physical distance in outdoor spaces. Harris started the group as a source of connection for women navigating the ups and downs of having a baby during a pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria new mom group navigates challenges of motherhood in a pandemic

Monarch Moms meet once a week for physically-distanced connection

Joanne Smith has been visiting Goldstream Provincial Park since she moved to Langford two years ago. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

The Takaya inspired sculpture currently in Kent Laforme’s outdoor studio. The 25,000-pound piece of Vancouver Island marble could be installed on Cattle Point. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

Royal Bay students are among the list of SD62 schools that will be trained by Pacific FC coaches and staff in a new soccer academy partnership. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Pacific FC partners with Sooke School District soccer academies

Royal Bay, EMCS and Dunsmuir Middle students to receive professional training

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Reader’s Lens
Richard Ashton took this picturesque scene from Whiffin Spit looking toward the Salty Towers dock and East Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens Richard Ashton took this picturesque scene from Whiffin Spit looking… Continue reading

Most Read