How well do you know your trout, salmon and steelhead? Well, take this little quiz and find out — and then read on for the detailed answers…
1) Which is the rarest salmon in the world?
- Pinook Salmon
- Co-Nook Salmon
- Formosan salmon
2) Where might you have a chance to catch an Atlantic Salmon and a Pacific Salmon in the same day?
- Yuba River
- Lake Biakal
- Lake Ontario
- Lake Pontchartrain
3) The IGFA All-Tackle World Record for Rainbow Trout is a 48-pound triploid from Lake Diefenbaker, Canada, but the record for steelhead is a 42 pounder caught in saltwater by a salmon troller…
4) Where did wrapping sardine fillets onto salmon plugs originate?
- Chetco River
- Rogue River
- Cowlitz River
- Columbia River
- Sacramento River
- Kenai River
- Skagit River
5) Which river boat pioneer used dynamite to blast a channel through Blossom Bar on Oregon’s Rogue River?
- Willie Illingworth
- Glen Wooldridge
- Everett Spaulding
- Woodie Hindman
6) The Kastmaster is one of the most popular lures of all time. Which of the following was the early inspiration for the modern day version?
- EDA Splune
- Souvenir Spoon
- Colorado Pike’s Peak
7) How far do salmon have to swim upstream from saltwater before they reach the fish ladders on the Yukon River’s Whitehorse Fishway?
- 1,132 miles
- 1,864 miles
- 950.2 miles
- 2,117 miles
1) Rarest of the Rare
Formosan salmon (answer #4) are the rarest salmon in the world and their numbers are down into the hundreds now. They are a landlocked subspecies of the Cherry Salmon, reaching about a foot in length, and occur only in a few drainages in Taiwan, including the Chichiawan Stream and the Kaoshan Stream in the upper reaches of the Tachia River.
Pinook salmon (hybrid cross of Chinook x Pink) aren’t an everyday occurrence, but they do show up now and then in Great Lakes tributaries. In fact, Michigan even keeps state records for them. Not a whole lot is known about Co-Nooks (Coho x Chinook hybrids)…in fact, some argue they don’t even exsist…so if you guessed that, you’re not totally wrong.
2) East Coast vs. West Coast
Thanks to fish farming, you really could name a 100 rivers along the West Coast where net pen escapee Atlantics rub shoulders with Pacific Salmon. Several years back, the Green River in Washington got loaded up with the buggers and it’s happening more and more. The answer I was looking for, however, was #3, Lake Ontario, where trollers sometimes cross paths with imported West Coast Salmon and planted Atlantics while dragging flutter spoons along the temperature breaks.
3) Record Steelhead
Amazingly, the long-recognized record for steelhead is a 42-pound, 2-ounce behemoth that was not taken from some well-known stream like the Babine, Skeena or Skagit. It was caught by David R. White in 1970, who was trolling the saltwater for kings at Bell Island, Alaska. Crazy, huh? Bet that was a chromer!
4) Sardine Wraps
Well, these things are always tricky to try to trace back. Since no records are kept for such things and it was long before the days of Twitter and Facebook, all we have to go on is antidotal evidence. From talking to lots of folks, including the man himself, I’m going to say that Clancy Holt at Barge Hole on the Sacramento River in the 1950’s was probably where it all began.
5) Clearing the Way
While the contributions to riverboating from all of these gentlemen can’t be ignored, Wooldridge was the man responsible for clearing a path through Blossom Bar. A true pioneer, he made the first ever float down the Rogue in a hard boat in 1915 and then made the first ascent of the river in 1947…with a prop! There’s a tough to find, but amazing to read book about his life called “The Rogue, A River to Run” by Florence Arman. If you can get your hands on a copy, you’ll love it!
6) Early Days of the Kastmaster
Not long after Art Lavallee founded the Acme Tackle Company in 1952, he became aware of a lure called the EDA Splune developed by the Engineering Design Associates of Severna Park, Maryland. Intrigued by its design, Lavallee tested and modified the lure (he made it longer and gave it its jewelry-like finish) and then signed a royalty agreement with EDA and acquired the rights to market the lure. Eventually, it became the Kastmaster and the rest, as they say is history…
7) Going the Distance!
At 1864 miles, it’s one long trek up the Yukon River to the Whitehorse Fishway, which helps salmon continue on their journey past the Whitehorse Rapids Hydroelectric Facility, built by the Canada Power Commission in the 1950s. When they get there, the weary travellers then have to ascend a 1,200-foot long fish ladder! Throwing out the “upper Yukon” above the dam, that’s a 3,728-mile round trip from Whitehorse and back!