Lake Trout fishing in the Boundary Waters and on the Gunflint Trail has closed for the season. The summer went by so quickly I didn’t even get a chance to catch one, so now I must wait for the ice to form to try fishing for them again.
The Trout fishing is still open on the North Shore and you can see quite a sight if you take a drive along Lake Superior this time of year. The kids and I stopped at the Cascade River to see what everyone had been talking about. This is the time of the year when the Pink and King Salmon come into the rivers on the shore to spawn. I had always heard something about spawning and dying but on Friday I saw what was meant first hand.
The river was filled with Pink Salmon attempting to swim against the current of the river. These fish didn’t look very healthy as they were in various stages of decay. Yes, decay. They had completed their spawn and were now basically coming apart at the seams and dying. I’ve tried to find some information about this on the web and I’ve asked a few people about it, but it doesn’t seem like anyone knows exactly what is happening. Some people say it’s the male fish, some say it is the female fish and others have no clue.
I found a little bit of information on the web about the spawn. It appears the females swim into the river followed closely by a male. The female swishes her tail around to make a hole to use as a nest for her eggs. The male fish waits nearby ready to fertilize the eggs and then the female guards her eggs until she dies. It didn’t say what the male did but I presume he dies as well? The cycle of the egg then follows the cycle of any other fish egg and eventually grows into a fish if it isn’t eaten before becoming fully developed.
If anyone knows more information about the spawn or how long it takes the eggs to develop into a salmon, then please let me know. Otherwise, take a drive up the shore, stop at a river, and see what I’m talking about; it’s a sight to see.