Name change caused controversy

Jeff Weltz shares his thoughts on steelhead in this week's column

My last column generated a bit of a stir, due to my referencing steelhead with their longest running name, salmo gairdneri, rather than their current name oncorhynchus mykiss. Originally, steelhead were believed to be of the Atlantic salmon genus because their ability to survive spawning and return up to three times. To the best of my knowledge, the name change to oncorhynchus (Pacific salmon) was made by the American Fisheries Society’s Committee on Names of Fish in 1989. This change was not without controversy, which continues to this day. The greatly revered sport fishing and steelhead authority Trey Combs, had these words to say on name the change.

“My steelhead, salmo gairdneri, a name fixed in Northwest history, became the incomprehensible and largely unpronounceable oncorhynchus mykiss.”

I greeted this with disbelief and consternation. Pacific salmon died after spawning. The United States and B.C. managed salmon as a food fish. A steelhead and an Atlantic salmon were closely related in literature. I saw them as cousins. The steelhead, it is a fish of controversy and a fish of legend. The mystery and the politics that surround this fish are astounding. Have you been out to catch yours yet? The Thompson is open!

– Submitted by Jeff Weltz

Just Posted

Fire ban expanded to include charcoal briquettes in public places

Some gas and propane barbecues still allowed in Mission

SLIDESHOW: Motorcyle ride raises funds for bereavement camp

Annual Poker Run held Sunday by Mission Hospice Society

Kids’ business camp makes cents

Young Entrepreneur Training program offered in Mission

‘What’s needed is vision, not sight’

Six-term Mission councillor Jenny Stevens wants everyone to have a voice

A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

NASA provides a timelapse of smoke covering B.C. from space

Child dies in boating incident in Okanagan

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon when the incident occured

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

More fires have burned in B.C. already this year than did in all of 2017

Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Trans Mountain pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud

Last week, a Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove everything from the site

Drug-checking started as pilot in four B.C. communities to test for fentanyl

Substance is mixed with water on test strip, and result is revealed in minutes

Gun used in Fredericton killings is legal, man had licence

Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the long gun is commonly available for purchase, and is not a prohibited or restricted weapon

Ontario will sell pot online when legalization comes in the fall

There are further plans to have pot in private retail stores in early 2019

Most Read