Posted by: wildfishmonger | January 21, 2011

Are there salmon in the Salmon River?

Many folks ask if there are any salmon in the Salmon River on which we have our shop (and, a bit further upstream, we also live). This beautiful river is 75 km long, starts at Kennebec Lake and ends up in Lake Ontario at Shannonville. The Atlantic Salmon once thrived in Lake Ontario and were a staple food for native populations in the area. Spawning season saw them return to the Salmon River. Whether or not they ever reached Tamworth is unknown (to me). There are no more Atlantic Salmon in the Lake; there are few in the rivers on the east coast with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. Once a viable commercial specie, they are endangered. They can only be caught with a fly rod, usually with costly outfitters and ‘catch-and-release’ is strongly encouraged. The Atlantic Salmon Federation ( ) does much to rehabilitate salmon spawning grounds.

Richard & Angela snowshoe to the Laraby Rapids Dam a couple of km upstream from their home on the Salmon River

Years ago, Coho, Chinook and Steelhead were introduced to Lake Ontario, have multiplied and, in spawning season, do enter the Salmon River but cannot travel further than a kilometre or so due to man made obstructions. There is a namesake Salmon River on the US side of Lake Ontario that has an active Coho and Steelhead sport fishery. On our river you will find abundant sport fish: Pickerel (Walleye), Pike, Bass, Crappie, Perch and other panfish – but alas, no salmon!


The ice patterns, colour and light change daily on the river


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