Other names: Hooligan, Candle Fish
Eulachon are small fish between 4-12 inches in total length. They can be distinguished from other small forage fish species by the dorsal fin located far back on the body and by circular grooves on the gill covers. The mouth is equipped with canine-like teeth which are lost as the fish approach spawning. Eulachon at sea are blue-silver in color but turn to gray-brown during spawning. Spawning males also develop tubercles (small bony ridges) on the head and on the scales along the lateral line. The name candle fish originated from the oil rendered from these fish by coastal Alaska native people as fuel for lamps. The rendered oil was also a prized (and very nutritious) edible delicacy, and trade item. Fish were eaten fresh, dried, and smoked.