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

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

Just Posted

Cruciferous vegetables have four petals on their flowers in the shape of a cross. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Yes, you can eat those bits of the plant too

These vegetables include cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and kohlrabi

Can you dig it? Crofton In Bloom volunteers certainly can. From left: Trayci Lepp, Tony Lamley, Bonnie Lamley, Mary Patient and Jane Grueber. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Community pride grows from volunteer group’s beautification efforts

All ages contribute to Crofton In Bloom’s objectives

An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: This mother is grinning and bearing it

News broke the other day that, after months in hibernation, Grouse Mountain’s… Continue reading

An online cooking lesson with Ian Blom, the Red Seal Chef from the Ainslie Restaurant, is one of the items on auction in a fundraiser for the Duncan Curling Club and other causes. (Submitted photo)
Online action being held to assist Duncan Curling Club and other causes

Auction, run by the Duncan Rotary Club, closes May 22

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Most Read