Chip foul hooked (hooked anywhere but the mouth) this evening. Salmon have to be hooked in the mouth so we couldn’t keep it.
Chip is our friend and neighbor and also Dr. Chip, a professor at KU. After dinner tonight he explained the salmon migration. Fry are baby salmon. They are born in their own part of a river meaning because they are born there, it is their home. When they reach about 1 1/2 years old, they swim to the ocean. At that time they are called Smolts.
At age four or five, they return to the place they were born to spawn and die. So that is why the fish are moving up the Kenai River where we are camped. The Kenai flows into the ocean so it is their entry way to other rivers and creeks upstream.
We are fishing for Red Salmon or sockeye. Chip says all salmon have two names. King Salman or chinook, Silver Salmon or coho, Chum Salmon or dog and Rink Salmon or humpback.
As the salmon swim up the river, smell tells them where to hatch. They may cross by several rivers or streams before one smells right to them. Chip told us not to miss the salmon hatchery in Valdez that releases salmon each year. When these released salmon return to spawn, they return to the hatchery where they are two and three deep trying to get back in. Of course, there is no entry.
Salmon swim two miles an hour and may swim as may as 70 to 90 miles. The longest commute is 3,000 miles on the Yukon River.
We are moving on to Homer today.