salmon in missouri river/lake sakakawea

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dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm
salmon in missouri river/lake sakakawea

Just FYI: Chinook salmon (called king salmon also) do not occur naturally in Sakakawea. They are stocked annually by the ND game & fish. They are often referred to as land-locked salmon because they are essentially "trapped" between dams and shorelines. They do make spawning runs, usually up into shallow bays, often the ones they were stocked in. However, they obviously don't get any farther than that and conditions aren't adequate for them to spawn. This is where the ND game and fish traps them and collects eggs and sperm to generate a whole new batch of young chinooks for future stocking. The salmon usually live about 3-4 years in the lake before making this spawning run attempt and they do die soon after.There are also salmon stocked in the Missouri, and some of the biggest in the state are caught each year below the garrison dam in the tailrace. There are also rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and brown trout in the lake and river. None of them, salmon or trout, will ever touch ocean water because they were stocked so far from it, but they do survive and fisherman catch them often. Actually, coho salmon and lake trout were also stocked awhile back but didn't fair to well. I did see a lake trout caught about three years ago though, when I was salmon fishing on the face of the dam, so there must be a few stragglers.
Anyway, I just wanted to clear this up for anyone who thought that all salmon had to make an ocean run and that trout didn't. The comment made about steelhead on the missouri river page was 100% accurate as well, and that was probably a good idea, fox island outfitter, to not even waste your time explaining yourself on the page. Give me a call this weekend, maybe we'll grab a couple dozen beers after chasing turkeys. Later.

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Fox Island Outfitter
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Joined: Monday, February 25, 2002 - 12:00am

Chasing a couple of beers after turkeys sounds good. Thanks for the info dirty, and good luck with the toms this weekend (hopefully you practiced your calling). Who would have thought that catching a salmon would stir up the reports page. Anyway, sorry about that Tim, didn't mean to get things turned around. Good luck everbody on the turkey opener and shoot straight and be safe.

The kill is the satisfying, indeed essential, conclusion to a successful hunt. But, I take no pleasure in the act itself. One does not hunt in order to kill, but kills in order to have hunted. Then why do I hunt? I hunt for the same reason my well-fed cat hunts...because I must, because it is in the blood, because I am the decendent of a thousand generations of hunters. I hunt because I am a hunter.- Finn Aagard

shorefisherman
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Joined: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 12:00am

Surprisingly, catching lake trout is becoming more and more common in the lake and in the tailrace. I caught one last month on the wingwalls that was 4lbs and another one last year.

dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm

Hey shorefisherman,

By any chance do you know when the last time was that lakers were stocked in ND? I'm kind of curious because the one caught in my boat a few years ago was also about 4 or 5 pounds and I'm guessing that a fish that size isn't very old. I don't know much about lake trout and how fast they grow or if they can naturally reproduce in the lake/river, so if anyone has any info I'd be interested to hear it.

Just a side note too...kind of a crazy story...a buddy of mine caught a tagged brown trout in the tailrace a few years ago that weighed 11 pounds. He followed up on the tag to get the report on the fish and found that it had been tagged in Sakakawea only two years earlier. somehow it made it through the dam and must have been fairly decent sized when it did. Kind of hard to believe, but true none-the-less.

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Fox Island Outfitter
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Joined: Monday, February 25, 2002 - 12:00am

Dirty,
I could only find info that lake trout were stocked and expected to reproduce naturally in the Missouri River system, but that's all I could seem to find. I'll post more if I find it.

The kill is the satisfying, indeed essential, conclusion to a successful hunt. But, I take no pleasure in the act itself. One does not hunt in order to kill, but kills in order to have hunted. Then why do I hunt? I hunt for the same reason my well-fed cat hunts...because I must, because it is in the blood, because I am the decendent of a thousand generations of hunters. I hunt because I am a hunter.- Finn Aagard

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Horsager
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Joined: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 12:00am

Lake trout are a serious predator!! They got introduced into Yellowstone lake a few years back and now you are not allowed to release one back if you catch it, you are required to keep it, they are eating all the other mountain carp (oh I mean trout).

This moment is a paradox, it's the oldest you've ever been as well as the youngest you'll ever be.



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Fox Island Outfitter
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Joined: Monday, February 25, 2002 - 12:00am

In 1999, 81,482 fingerling lake trout were stocked into Government bay. Also in 99' 2011 adults were stocked in the Snake Creek area along with another 81,482 fingerlings. That looks like the last time they were stocked in Sak.

The kill is the satisfying, indeed essential, conclusion to a successful hunt. But, I take no pleasure in the act itself. One does not hunt in order to kill, but kills in order to have hunted. Then why do I hunt? I hunt for the same reason my well-fed cat hunts...because I must, because it is in the blood, because I am the decendent of a thousand generations of hunters. I hunt because I am a hunter.- Finn Aagard

dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm

Hey F.I.O.,

I guess they were stocked more recently than I thought. I'm surprised you don't hear about a big laker being caught every now and then since they have the potential to get pretty massive and the lake is fairly deep and cold in many areas.
Where is the snake creek area anyway?

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Tim Sandstrom
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Joined: Monday, July 14, 2003 - 12:00am

By the pump station near Six Mile Corner.


 

 

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