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Burke County Angler Establishes New State Record for Salmon

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September 7, 2006

kokanee salmon
Raleigh, N.C. While most people associate salmon with the Northeast and the West Coast, Tony Robinson knows of a honey hole in western North Carolina that produces a salmon that can put up quite a fight despite its relatively small size.

On Sept. 7, the Burke County angler landed a newly established freshwater fish state record for kokanee salmon. Robinson caught the fish, which weighed 9.2 ounces and measured 11 inches in length, from Nantahala Lake in Macon County using an Eagle Claw rod, Penn 309 reel and a fin-tail spoon as a lure.

Kokanee salmon are native to the western United States. Those found in Nantahala Lake are a remnant population from a stocking done in the mid-1960s by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission in an attempt to establish the species as a forage fish for other predator fishes in the lake.

In lakes, kokanee salmon do not grow very large, generally less than 20 inches in length, which is why they were stocked as a forage species. They feed almost exclusively on plankton and on small aquatic organisms, such as freshwater shrimp.

The Nantahala population represents a landlocked form of the anadromous (spawns in fresh water, lives in the ocean) sockeye salmon found in the western United States. Adults make a spawning migration up the Nantahala River each fall.

The fish was weighed on certified scales at Penny Patch in Morganton and was certified by Robert Brown, a fisheries biologist with the Commission.

Check out the other North Carolina Fishing Records

 

 

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