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Fish in Anchorage



The Alaska blackfish was introduced into Hood and Spenard Lakes at the Anchorage Airport. It has since spread into other lakes and streams in the Anchorage area through interconnecting waterways and occasionally through deliberate transplant. It was also introduced to St. Paul Island in the Pribilof Islands.

The Alaska blackfish is a fish that grows to 7 inches (180 mm) in length. It is elongate and cylindrical, with a dark olive-brown coloration. Four to six dark blotches run vertically along the sides, and the belly is white. The fins have reddish-brown speckles. Alaska blackfish are found in swamps, ponds, lakes, and streams with vegetation for cover, in tundra and forested locations not far inland.

The hardiness of the Alaska blackfish is of mythical proportions, including tales of reviving fish after they are frozen solid. The fish survive the cold winters by moving to a depth of 7–8 meters (23–26 feet) when the surface becomes solid ice. Large gills protected by gill covers help them to survive the winters where the water temperatures drop to 0 °C (32 °F). Though the Alaskan blackfish can be super cooled for short periods at temperatures as low as −20 °C (−4 °F)) in controlled environments without contact with ice crystals, no Alaska blackfish has ever survived for even as much as an hour under these freezing conditions.

Be certain to check with Alaska Department of Fish and Game before fishing and inquire about regulations pertaining to the species of fish that you intend to catch.


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