Dolly Varden and Bull Trout




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Game Fish Species of British Columbia

Dolly Varden
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Bull Trout


Dolly Varden & Bull Trout

Salvelinus malma or Dolly Varden Char or Trout, Bull Trout, Red-Spotted Rocky Mountain Trout, Red Spotted Trout or Char, Pacific or Western Brook Char or Trout, Sea Trout or Char, Salmon-Trout

DESCRIPTION - The average length of the fresh water form is 12-18 inches long and 18-24 inches in anadromous stocks. The color is variable with size, locality and habitat. Adults living in the sea are a dark blue with silvery sides and those living in fresh water are a olive-green to brown. Spawning adults turn a bright red. All are spotted. For years, many anglers have used the name Dolly Varden to apply to what are now considered two different fish: the Dolly Varden and the Bull Trout. In some regions it's hard to make a clear distinction between the two, while in other areas of British Columbia the difference in appearance is substantial.

DISTRIBUTION -The Dolly Varden is found in the fresh and salt waters of North America and eastern Asia. The anadromous form do not move out into the open ocean but remain close to shore near the river mouths.

BIOLOGY - The Dolly Varden is a fall spawner. The female digs the redd and is attended by 4-5 males. Generally this species lives 10-12 years. The bull trout is known as the most serious predator on young salmon and a bounty was long paid on them in Alaska.

RELATION TO MAN - Generally not considered a sought after sport fish, the Dolly Varden does have many of the sporting qualities of other trouts. They have been sold commercially, fresh, fresh-frozen, canned or dried.


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Dolly Varden and Bull Trout