Saturday, September 25, 2010

Salmon Run

Chinook salmon runs aren't only found on the west coast as here in Ontario we have our own versions. Some years ago Lake Ontario started to be stocked with those Pacific coast natives to provide fishing fun and a predator for alewives. Alewives are a fish and not a Hogarthian pub landlady BTW, oh and they may now be endangered because of too many hungry Chinook.

Apparently each year between 2 and 5 thousand fish return to the Ganaraska river and head upstream to spawn after living out in Lake Ontario for about 3-4 years.  They die after spawning, I suppose there is nothing left to do in life once you have perpetuated the species.

Looking upstream to Port Hope
 On the way up they have to deal with the added problems of fishermen.  I was in Port Hope today and watched the fishermen from the footbridge. It's amazing how many of them there are right downtown. I spent a good 15 minutes watching them, one guy hooked 3 huge salmon in that time but only landed one of them. 
Another landed two. You see the fish leaping out of the water as they try to get away.

and downstream with the uranium refinery in the distance
Most fishermen throw the fish back. You can eat fish from Lake Ontario but it's not recommended for children or women of child bearing years......... kinda puts you off a little doesn't it?

There were several dead fish lying in the water. One of the people on the bridge said the racoons come down and feast on them, they bring the whole family and pig out on a fish supper. I suppose they then lie at the side of the river rubbing their bellies and belching.

Salmon sandwich anyone?


ms toast burner said...

Well, I'llll be! I had no idea...

Kinda fun to watch salmon doing their thing. Seems a weird way to procreate and die though.

Do black bears join in with the racoons?

me said...

The man on the bridge said a bear was seen last year but not common.

Anonymous said...

How very interesting. I had no idea. An amazing natural phenomenon that I've seen in BC before.