Rare Atlantic Salmon Caught in Detroit River
Bob McNally 07.10.17
The fact that a Detroit area angler recently caught a 9-pound, 10-ounce Atlantic salmon from the Detroit River is nothing short of earth-rattling in the world of fishing. Atlantic salmon are about as rare in that river as alligators, though salmon are much more desirable among fishermen and water sports enthusiasts.
Well-traveled and well-heeled anglers have often sung praises of Atlantic salmon as the greatest sportfish on the planet. Indeed, river fishing for Atlantic salmon is one of the most expensive pastimes in the world, with $10,000 fees paid by some people for a single day of working the most choice Atlantic salmon waters in Europe and elsewhere. It is for sure the sport of kings.
Yet charter guide Brad Smyth of St. Clair Shores, Mich. caught the salmon in the Detroit River, which flows from Lake St. Clair into Lake Erie, and is part of the U.S. boundary with Ontario. He was targeting walleyes, fishing a DOA 1.5-ounce jig when the salmon struck.
“It was immediately obvious that it wasn’t a walleye,” Smyth said. “It started thrashing and I thought it was a snagged carp. All of a sudden it came to the surface. I actually netted the fish before I caught up slack in my line.”
While Michigan fisheries folks have been stocking Atlantic salmon in some state rivers in hopes of starting a viable fishery for the species, such stockings have not been made in the Detroit River.