Pink Salmon

If your first choice was coho salmon, give yourself credit for a good (but not correct) answer. I would have given that same answer. However, after doing a little research, I learned that coho were first stocked in the Great Lakes in 1966, 10 years after the successful (and inadvertent) introduction of about 21,000 pink salmon into northwestern Lake Superior. Though pink salmon are relatively unimportant to anglers, there are small, self-sustaining populations of this species dispersed throughout the upper Great Lakes (, 2012). Chinook Salmon (pictured below), the largest and most successful of the salmon species to be introduced into Lake Superior tributaries, were first successfully stocked in the Great Lakes by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in 1967. Despite many attempts to introduce Atlantic Salmon, this species has not adapted as well to the Great Lakes, and initial stocking efforts were only minimally successful. However, the state of Michigan is making another attempt to stock them in Lake Huron. Minnesota state records for pink, coho, chinook, and Atlantic salmon are 4 pounds, 8 ounces; 10 pounds, 7 ounces; 33 pounds, 4 ounces; and 12 pounds, 13 ounces, respectively (MN DNR, 2014).


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Photos courtesy of  Jay T. Hatch, Natural History of Minnesota Fishes. Reprinted with permission.

Background from El Meko Loco