The Arctic Ocean ice let go around Gjoa Haven on July 24. With the water now open, many residents in the community will quickly get their boats in the water and head out to snag some tasty Arctic char, according to James Qitsualik, chair of the community’s hunters and trappers association.
“All of a sudden, bang, it’s just like let the floodgates go and everything is going to start happening now that the ice is gone,” he said. “That’s huge char we’re talking about, probably 25- to 30-pounders in the ocean.”
Seasonally, the fish remain in the area around King William Island until September, said Qitsualik, then they start heading back up the rivers of the mainland.
By the first few weeks of August, a much smaller number of people will likely go whaling closer to Prince of Wales Island, Qitsualik said, adding that beluga and narwhal will be sought.