Fishing report: 2013 Salmon Run Review

This year as summer came to an end and September rolled around, the salmon started moving into Lake Michigan tributaries on their annual spawning run. The salmon stay in Lake Michigan to mature anywhere from 3 to 7 years old. The fall offers many unique opportunities to catch salmon in local rivers around the state.

The two main types of salmon that run from Lake Michigan are Chinook (King) salmon, and Coho salmon. Both species are valiant fighters, and prized fish among local anglers.

Although Kings and Cohos are the most popular species that run in the fall, you might be lucky enough to catch a spawning brown trout. Browns are also a very prized fish for their flesh. Although they do not get as big as a King or a Coho, they still are a great species for eating.

Aaron Boals, a local angler and freshman here at Hamilton High School, was also able to catch many salmon this year. His number stands at about 43 legal fish. He was also one of the ‘lucky’ ones who were able to hook a brown trout

“At first, I didn’t know what type of fish it was; it was jumping out of the water a lot,” Boals commented. “When I got it in, I was ecstatic!”

Brown trout are not as numerous as the Kings and Cohos, so it is a great surprise to catch one.

This year, I also had the opportunity to fish the Rabbit River quite extensively during the salmon run. The Rabbit River is a branch off of the Kalamazoo River, which leads to Lake Michigan at the Saugatuck port. These fall run salmon had to swim approximately 16-20 miles upstream in order to get to the Hamilton Dam here on the Rabbit.

The Salmon presence here at the dam is very evident. Anglers line the shore shoulder to shoulder, and fish can be seen jumping and surfacing everywhere.

Many fish have been caught down by the dam this year; it has definitely been a great year.




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