In the March 2011 issue of Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine, I did a photo essay of the spring-run Chinook tagging project I was involved with last year (and again coming up this year as well). The basic gist of the whole deal was: Capture kings, quickly outfit them with acoustic tags and then let ’em go. At that point, biologists could track the fish as they moved upstream, providing them with lots of good data about the migration habits of the fish. We also captured and tagged fall-run fish last year as well. Here’s a little look into the project…
As most of you probably know, I’ve been involved with a multi-agency salmon project in which I’ve been hired to capture (with rod & reel…I know, cry me a river!) Chinook salmon and then outfit them with acoustic tags so their progress upstream can be monitored and tracked.
Well, we tagged 60ish spring-run kings in May and June and now we’re onto fall-run. While fishing for falls the other day, I encountered an old friend, Chinook 14. I hooked and landed him back on May 25 on sulfite-cured eggs and then on Aug. 31 he decided to sample a sardine-wrapped FlatFish. Proof positive that catch & release works.
Take a closer look of these two pics of him with my crew member Kyle holding — it’s not often that you get to see the same salmon at various life stages. Notice how many more spots he’s developed since he was a freshie. Overall, he looks pretty good considering he’s been hanging around for three months. Now, Fourteen…get upriver and make some babies!