As the cooler autumn weather arrives, most Americans begin transitioning into indoor activities — except for hunters and fishers, of course. The opening day of hunting season tends to get more media attention than the fishing season, but as fishermen throughout the Great Lakes region begin encountering unexpected full streams of salmon, this popular outdoor sport is starting to make headlines, as well.
It’s no secret that Alaska possesses some of the best fishing spots in the country, and it isn’t uncommon for fishing fanatics to take extended trips up to the Kenai River for a prime selection of king, silver, red, and pink salmon every year. But hatchery workers and marine biologists are putting more emphasis on preserving the salmon populations in the U.S. and Canada (one of the more popular strategies being used at the moment is the “salmon cannon,” which, despite its comical name, actually seems to be very effective), and healthier salmon populations throughout the country mean better salmon runs and better catches for fishermen.
Michigan and New York, in particular, have always been good fishing locations (due to their proximity to the Great Lakes). But this year’s fishing season is exceptionally eventful, despite the unusually cool weather.
Salmon runs in Lake Michigan appear to be healthy enough to bring record-breaking numbers of steelhead, coho, and king salmon all the way down to South Bend, Indiana. In Pulaski, New York, salmon runs coming from Lake Ontario fostered “shoulder-to-shoulder fishing conditions” starting around Columbus Day weekend — just in time for the town’s annual Salmon River Festival and Sportsmen’s Expo, in mid-October.
While experienced fishermen will be quick to note that fishing conditions can change in as little as one day, a Department of Environmental Conservation fish hatchery in Upstate New York has noted that this year’s salmon runs have been more populated, on average, than in previous years (both in regards to the fishermen and to the salmon themselves). Fishing fanatics who missed the dense salmon runs earlier in October may still be able to find some stragglers in the Great Lakes waterways — or can head to Alaska for prime fishing any time.