It will not surprise many that this little planet called Earth is covered by seventy percent water. What may surprise many is that the water on this planet holds close to an estimated 17,000 different species of fish. Fish have been found in waters in altitudes of 15,000 feet and in waters 35,000 feet in depth. That sort of makes the estimated 8,600 bird species and 4,500 mammals rather insignificant.
How far back do fish go?
Primitive fish can be traced back to the Cambrian Period, some 600 millions of years ago. At this same period of time, the Yukon was part of an exceptionally large lake that extended from the Bering sea to the Gulf of Mexico. Just think what monstrous fish fossils lie hidden deep under the present land mass of the Yukon. Back 20 years ago I lived in a rural area that had once been the shoreline of ancient lake that was an extension of Hudson Bay. If you dug down deep enough you would come upon the white sand that once was part of the beach of that extension of Hudson Bay. Each year as I used my tiller on the garden I would hit a big section of rock. Finally with pick and shovel I dug out the rock only to find it was a huge fossil. Loading a large part of the fossil in my truck I headed for the Ontario Museum and a friendly archaeologist to identify my find. Actually the fossil was about 250 millions of years old, and the fossils of a giant shonisauris, something that resembled a giant dolphin. The find made the front page of the local newspaper, The Packet and Times, and ever since then on my travels I carry a hammer and special chisel under the seat of my truck, always looking for ano
other find. I wish I would have kept it as I could look out the window and see something older than me.
Fish are amazing
If you are wondering just how fast some fish can swim, some of the fastest fish in the world are the Marlins that can reach 40 miles per hour, Tuna at 50 MPH and the fastest being the sail fish at 60 MPH.
Think fish friendly
Back in Ontario I loved fishing for bass and the fight they gave the fisherman. To give the fish a better chance I actually reduced the strength of the line to four pounds and therefor had a longer fight with the fish. At the time I thought this gave the bass a fighting chance but after some study I found that I was actually reducing the chance of that fish living, even though I would release it. Fighting the fish for longer periods means a buildup of lactic acid (naturally released in the fish during periods of high activity) which greatly stresses the fish. So, if you’re planning on a conservation-friendly catch, a heavier line and a quicker reel-in is the way to go.