Tag Archives: salmon

Fraser River gets Record Chum Run

Chum by Debbie Barton

The 2016 fall chum salmon run for the Fraser River, which borders Vancouver BC and opens out into Johnstone Strait to the North of the Washington’s San Juan Islands, was slow at first.  When it did come, however, the fish appeared in record numbers. The run, which now looks like it numbers 2 million, has been so large that some of the catches have swamped the boats of smaller commercial fishermen. Tidal and streamside anglers can look forward to a great season of chum as well from now until as late as Thanksgiving. Continue reading Fraser River gets Record Chum Run

Salmon Fly Fishing for the East Coast

Salmon Fly Fishing by Sean Obrien

Some of the best salmon fly fishing in the United States is relatively tough to get to by normal standards.  Two places that come to mind almost immediately are The great Northwest, and Alaska.  There are naturally many other areas in the USA as well, but those are two of the best in the world.  A little bit closer to home for those of us on the East Coast would be ideal for that fall salmon fly fishing trip.   Perhaps the best spot on this half of the United States is Pulaski, NY.  This small sleepy town in Oswego County has a population of 2,365 as of the 2010 census.  But it also has a 2 month period in September and October where the Coho and King salmon are spawning, and the fly fishing is absolutely insane.  The aptly named Salmon River is home to some of the best salmon fishing anywhere, and definitely the best on or near the eastern half of the USA. .

Anglers line up shoulder to shoulder for the opportunity to catch a coho or king salmon as they make their annual run up the river.  The fish seem to mill around the estuary, and then race up the river in spurts. Some of the fish can be in excess of 40 pounds and will put up a hell of a fight. One of the best methods is to use salmon eggs, because the fish are going upstream to spawn.  If they see a random egg floating in the water the natural instinct is to grab it and hold it in their mouth, which will lead to a hook set.  Hopefully.  The fish are not as aggressive in Pulaski as you would think, but there are spurts where you can barely see the river bottom because of all the salmon. These groupings of fish occur as they swim upriver from the estuary where Lake Ontario meets New York.  The king and coho salmon are not native to the area, but have thrived since their introduction into the ecosystem in the 1960’s. Now, there is a huge game fish population in this area, and the trout and salmon, as well as smallmouth bass make this a great destination for a Salmon Fly Fishing trip.

The only method of fishing that is banned on the Salmon River is snagging, because at certain points in the day, the fish are so plentiful running upstream that you can throw a treble hook of any bare hook and rip it through the water and you would probably snag something.  There is also a requirement on the way weights are tied to lines, as the authorities do not allow a sliding weight, so there is no chance of it dropping to the hook and allowing you to snag easier.  That said, the typical setup is a small weight about 48” from the hook, rigged with  a salmon egg.

There are a ton of essential items to insure safety in the cold water streams in late September and early October.  The most essential is a pair of insulated waders, as you will be spending quite a bit  of time in knee to waist deep water, and it is not warm.  Gloves, and any and all other cold weather essentials will be a benefit out here.  It is also recommended that the anglers wear studded or cleated shoes to avoid slipping and falling in the river.  Polarized sunglasses are also a must, as when the river is clear, you will be able to sight fish and pick your spots.

Although spinning rods continue to dominate the day, fly fishing has been a growing segment of the angler population on the Salmon River.  Drifting streamers and egg patterns down the river during a run will inevitably lead to a hook up with some monster fish.  As you see them darting up the river in the clear water, you feel like you can dive in and bare hand them.  We will take a look at techniques and tips for both spinning and fly fishing for these monsters next, so be sure to check back with us for all your salmon fly fishing information.

 

 

 

 

 

Lumpsuckers and Salmon Farming

 

Lumpsuckers by Debbie Kay

One of the largest criticisms against salmon farms has been about the methods used to keep large populations of salmon that are densely packed as clean and parasite-free as possible.  Chemical methods, antibiotics and placing pens in areas of high flow to flush the problems downstream are all solutions. These have been used, but have had a number of critics.  Others have tried to use tropical cleaner fish like wrasse to try and keep salmon clean. However, they struggle in the cold water required for salmon.  But, wrasse are not the only cleaner fish out there. Therefore fish farmers are turning to a more northerly creature as a potential solution to farming parasites:  the lumpsucker. Continue reading Lumpsuckers and Salmon Farming

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Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing

A look at the what, where, and when of salmon fishing in Lake Michigan, the Westernmost of the five Great Lakes

by Debbie Kay

Though the native salmon and trout populations on the West Coast are taking a beating, their transplanted cousins are doing well in the Great Lakes, and are open for fishing.  Here is a look at the what, where and when of salmon fishing in Lake Michigan, the westernmost of the five Great Lakes. Continue reading Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing

Farm-raised Fish No Ocean No Sky No Problem

Tank-Raised Salmon Hits the Market: A Whole New Meaning for “Canned Salmon”

Farm-raised Fish by Robert Deen

Salmon used to end up in a can.  Now you may be eating salmon that grew up in a can.

A Nova Scotia-based fish farm recently sold its first batch of Atlantic salmon grown entirely inside land-based tanks – from eggs to smolt to adult to the plate.  No ocean, no sky, no problem.

Sustainable Fish Farming spent eight years developing a system to farm fish in land-based, closed-containment tanks. The new facility in Nova Scotia will have the capacity to produce 400 to 500 tons of salmon.

“Once we expand significantly, when we get into the thousands of tons of production, I think that we’ll have economies that will give us the option of being more competitive,” CEO Kirk Havercroft recently told Undercurrent News, a seafood trade publication.  He’s interested in how quickly the salmon, marketed under the brand Sustainable Blue, will sell and how popular it will be.

Soylent Pink?

Not everyone is thrilled at the idea of farm-raised fish, and selling the idea of eating a fish that spent its entire life in an enclosed tank could be tough. The commercial fishing industry has waged an “eat wild” campaign for years.  On the other hand, the world’s seemingly insatiable hunger for salmon poses a threat to wild stocks, and many see farm-raised fish as the way to alleviate that pressure.

Sports fishermen will argue there is no substitute for a freshly caught wild salmon.  But should they support fish farms as an alternative to commercial fishing, even if the notion of eating something raised in a tank isn’t particularly appealing or consistent with their outdoor ethic?

Is it safe?

Wild-caught fish used to be considered healthy, but concerns have grown about the effects that heavy metal contaminants (such as mercury), pollutants (such as polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs), pesticides, and fertilizers have had on water and the fish that grow in it.

Farm-raised fish, on the other hand, have suffered from the use of harmful chemicals.  Contaminants like dioxins, toxaphene, and PCB’s are often found in food and nutrition supplements manufactured for aquaculture.  Because of this, farm fish typically have higher concentrations of toxic chemicals than wild salmon.  Similar to the controversial use of antibiotics by the poultry and livestock industries, factory salmon farms must prevent crowded fish from infecting one another with diseases.  Because of the high prevalence of drugs on salmon farms, unwary consumers may ingest untold amounts of antibiotics.

Taking Care of Farm-raised Fish Problems

While more expensive, closed container systems can remove most of the problems that have plagued fish farms.  Diseases take off in crowded farm situations, but because diseases are introduced from the outside, closed systems avoid the need for chemicals and antibiotics.  Traditional fish farms also produce large amounts of waste (feces).  The Nova Scotia system filters the water and converts such waste into fertilizer.

One of the biggest complaints about farm-raised fish is that the fish escape into the natural environment to breed or compete with native species.  For example, the world record rainbow trout, a 44- pounder, originally escaped from the CanGro fish farm in Canada’s Lake Diefenbaker.  Genetically pure Atlantic salmon are virtually non-existent on the east coast, due to interbreeding with fish that escaped from ocean pens.

Approval by the FDA this year of the first Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) animal – an Atlantic “Super Salmon” with genetically engineered genes – has drawn increased attention to the problem of escapes.  Land-based systems isolated from water would solve that problem.

The Nova Scotia company plans to expand outside of traditional markets in eastern Canada, with plans to make sales in Quebec, Canada’s west coast, Boston and New York.

Let us know in the comments or on social media whether you’d eat “canned salmon”!

 

 

 

 

Other Articles You Might Enjoy

Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing A look at the what, where, and when of salmon fishing in Lake Michigan, the Westernmost of the five Great Lakes by Debbie Kay Though the native sa...
Cooking Salmon Cooking Salmon 5 Different Species Depending on where you’re from, the amount you actually know about salmon can vary by a lot.  My husband and I wer...
Salmon in the NFL Line-up? With the Discovery of Fish Oil Being Able to Protect Against Head Injuries, the League Has an Interest in Protecting Salmon Habitat By Debbie Kay ...
Salmon Season Extension  Salmon Season Extension Good News Strong Spring Chinook Run Below and Above Bonneville Means More Fishing This is going to be a good year to fish...
Oregon Fishing Oregon Fishing A big, sprawling western state with fir-clad mountains and rustic desert scenery, Oregon fishing offers an unbelievably diverse experi...