A rare, nearly extinct breed, the Hicken's Furbearing Trout is from the Artikdannder genus of fish and is found in the arctic lakes north of the 72nd parallel. Its diet consists primarily of ice-worms and fod. Sometimes confused with the more common Alpino-Pelted Trout.

Source: Petrie Encyclopedia of Zoology,
Vol. 7, (1938)

May, 1929 - Montana WildLife
Official Publication of the Montana State
Fish and Game Department

Eastern dudes beset with the opinion that everything west of Buffalo is outside the United States, that the Mississippi valley is way out west, that most every feller in Montana and sister states goes out and kills himself an Indian before breakfast just to keep in shape, have become interested in the fur-bearing fish discovered and copyrighted by J.H. Hicken of Whitefish Montana. Mr. Hicken has kindly granted Montana Wildlife permission to publish the photograph and story of this mysterious piscatorial curiosity. Here’s the way he tells it, believe it or not.


The discovery of this fur-bearing fish was made while traveling through Glacier National Park during a sudden drop in temperature, following up of which led to “Iceberg Lake” located near Whitefish, Montana. Several hooks were broken immediately upon touching the water. Finally one was heated, and when it hit the water, the temperature tempered the hook, with the result that one of the fish was caught. “The water in this lake is so cold that nature has taken care of her own by providing the fish with a thick coat of fur. In fact the water is so cold that it is beyond the freezing point.”

The bezel, a very rare specimen, is found only on Prince Edward Island and lives on the hum of the humming bird. They were found to be the only bait that these fish will bite except in extreme warm weather, when it has been earned that they will bite on ice worms. Another peculiarity of this fish is that it follows the precept of the poet who said: “in the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. So, with these fish, and during this period with a portable phonograph, by putting on a love song the fish will come to the surface and the quick transfer, to a jazz record results in them shaking themselves to death, when they can be picked out of the water.

It has been found that these fish absolutely refuse to bite during the “love” month of June, but as there is always a black sheep in every family, the one caught (picture of which has been taken) disgraced himself before the entire family and suffered the usual penalty.


They make a rare fight in landing them out of the water, due to the fact that nature has provided them with this fur, which ruffles and causes such a resistance that it is practically impossible to land them only under most favorable circumstances. The fur also acts as an accelerator, and when they step on the gas with their tails and fins their speed is beyond any known fish at the present time. This, in turn, also acts as a brake in reducing speed or stopping, by simply putting the fur against the grain, and is their protection against survival of the fittest.

The change of temperature from this water to atmosphere is so great that the fish explodes upon being taken from the water, and fur and skin come off in one perfect piece, making it available for tanning and commercial purposes, and leaving the body of the fish for refrigerator purposes or eating, as desired; the body keeping the ordinary refrigerator cold for two or three months and no ice required. If fish is desired for eating purposes it will take several days’ cooking to reduce the temperature to a point where ordinary people can dispose of it

If the fur is made into a neckpiece it has been found to be a cure for goiter and tonsillitis; the fur stimulating circulation to such an extent that all impurities are removed. The fish has been so recently discovered that information regarding their habits, etc., is very meager, but further details will be given when available.

James Herbert Hicken – A railroad man who left to live with the black-foot Indians around Whitefish Montana

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