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Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Uncle Ducky Charters
Captain Bill Duckwall

Lake Superior, Lake Michigan,
Little Bay De Noc, Stannard Rock

Marquette, Michigan

Fish Hunter Charters
Captain Dave James

Lake Michigan

East Shore Marina, Frankfort, Michigan

Lindsay "K" Charters
Captain Bernie Shellman

Lake Erie, Lake Michigan

Manistee, Michigan

Wet Net Sportfishing Charters
Captain Rod Perry

Lake Michigan


Ludington, Michigan


The Atlantic salmon has been honored throughout history. The Gauls and Romans prized its many qualities, and Britain's Magna Carta even granted it rights of protection.
Despite its venerable past, this valuable sport and commercial fish has not readily adapted to the upper Great Lakes, though they were once native to Lake Ontario. After more than 100 years of trying, Canada and the U.S. have yet to establish these ocean-going salmon in the fresh waters of any of the Great Lakes in any numbers.
In recent years, Michigan has planted a new freshwater strain of Atlantic salmon in Lakes Michigan and Huron. These "Gullspang" Atlantic salmon come from the freshwater lakes of Sweden, where they have been landlocked since the Ice Ages. Michigan and Wisconsin have at times experimented with a strain of Atlantic salmon that spawns in the rivers of Quebec province, and Minnesota continues to stock this species.

Camel Charters
Captain Pat Thiel

Lake Michigan

Lundington, Michigan

ReelRascal Charters
Captain Ed Thompson

Lake Michigan

Ludington, Michigan

Cedar River Charters
Captain Lloyd Polfus

Little/Big Bay De Noc, Cedar River Bordering Wisconsin Waters

Cedar River , Michigan

From these stocking programs, Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes now have small populations of Atlantic salmon. However, the success in reintroducing the fish has not been noteworthy, and Michigan is the only state that continues to stock it. Wisconsin also planted a strain of oceangoing Atlantic salmon in Lake Superior from stocks that spawned in the rivers of the province of Quebec. In the 1980s, Minnesota alone continued to plant Atlantic salmon in the headwater Great Lake, while Michigan today plants these fish only in Lake Michigan.

Sharkster Charters
Captain John Reed Jr.

Lake Michigan

St. Joe , Michigan

The Desperado
Captain Bob, Dave McKee

Locations: Grand Haven

616-635-9991 / 616-245-6624 / 616-292-6065

Grand Isle, Grand Haven, Michigan

Salmon Nailer Charters
Capt. Ora Swick

South Haven, Michigan

Unlike their Pacific cousins Atlantic salmon may spawn two or three times during their lives. Self-propagating stocks have not yet developed. But fisheries scientists still hope that some experimental strain of Atlantic salmon will be found that has the genetic makeup to survive and reproduce in the Great Lakes.
The best place to fish for the Atlantic Salmon are in the Rapids of the St. Mary’s River and the river itself at Sault Ste. Marie during the month of June. Also near Detour Village at the mouth of the St. Marys River.
As they are more akin to the Steelhead Trout than the Pacific Salmon similar methods work best with regards to lures and fishing methods.

Tabs Sportfishing
Captain Ron Tabiadon

Lake Michigan

Grand Haven , Michigan


Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Full Moom Guide Service
Captain Dan Linder

Lake Michigan

Wilson, Michigan

Fishbone Charters
Captain Dan Linder

Lake Michigan

Wilson, Michigan

Fishbone Charters
Captain Steve Dennis

Lake Michigan

Manistee, Michigan

Hawg-Tide Fishing Charters
Capt. Andy McQuinlan

Traverse City

Many chinook salmon end their days as trophies mounted on tavern and game room walls. In tribute to their size and character, they are also known as "king salmon."
Chinook were the first Pacific salmon to be transplanted to other parts of the world, but the only notable success in creating self-sustaining stocks has been in New Zealand. A key factor in this general failure was that, like other Pacific salmon, chinook salmon seek the stream of their birth to spawn and die. They have apparently failed to find the right kind of spawning streams along Lake Michigan, so continuous stocking is necessary to maintain the chinook as one of the lake's most prized game fish.
Chinook are generally caught by trolling. But as winter approaches and the lake becomes colder, they disappear in search of more suitable water temperatures. Some say they veer south along a route five to 15 miles offshore; others say that, unlike cohos, they simply move offshore into deeper water.
For several reasons, this salmon species is especially popular with fish management agencies. They can be released five to six months after hatching and therefore are cheaper to hatch and stock than cohos, which require 14 to 16 months. During their four- to five-year lifespan, chinooks feed on large numbers of alewifes and so put more pressure on the lake's alewife population.

Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

Initial hopes for a revived Great Lakes sport fishery rode on the sleek muscular back of the coho salmon. Commonly called "silver salmon," this Pacific import has been planted in lakes Michigan and Superior annually since 1966 and is now an integral part of the lake's "put-and-take" sport fishing industry.
Mature cohos gorge themselves on alewives, smelt, and other forage fish. In Lake Michigan, cohos attain an average weight of five to six pounds but often top out at 10 pounds or more. In Lake Superior, where forage fish are less abundant, cohos average only two to four pounds.
Though smaller, coho salmon are spawning successfully in most Lake Superior tributaries and thus have developed some limited but self-sustaining populations. There is some concern that this aggressive fish might disrupt the spawning of other valued species, such as brook, brown and rainbow trout.
Coho salmon ordinarily return in their third year to the streams where they were planted to spawn and die. They reproduce naturally in many streams on the eastern side of Lake Michigan, but their general population must be sustained with hatchery-reared fish. Continual stocking has helped to improve the lake's predator-prey balance and given satisfaction to thousands of sport fishermen as well.

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