Iqaluk means Arctic char in Inuktitut.
Every fall, hundreds of thousands of Arctic char, donning their bright red-orange breeding colors, leave their coastal feeding grounds and swim up Arctic rivers to spawn. In the spring when the ice breaks, they swim back downstream to the sea. On both occasions, local folks have a fishing derby. The traditional way to fish char is to corral them through the narrowest, rapid flowing sections of the river into large circular rock-traps where they can easily be snagged with a three-pronged spear. The char are then dried so they can serve as a food source during the winter. Nowadays, though, many people fish for char with fishing rods, and commercial fisheries catch them in large numbers using gill nets.
Territory, Canada CD, Central
Arctic Services, Ltd.
Used with permission.
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