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Rock Salmon: how far upriver do they swim?

Rock Salmon - how far upriver do they swim?

Rock Salmon: how far upriver do they swim?

Rock Salmon: how far upriver do they swim?: In this quick study, we get a few numbers wrong…but you get the picture at the end.

This day, we were doing some 3D work at the very top of the Umzimkulu Estuary. We were on the St. Helens Rock stretch, and were returning to base after a few hours of scanning.

In the video I said 10 kms. Then 13 kms. But when I measured accurately, the fish was caught at about 9.7 kms upriver. That said, a fish can still swim a long way further. Right up to the steep rapids at the corner to the cement factory. Another 5 km more.

Flowing river

The river was flowing. It had been in full flood just before this trip. And now it was backing off just enough for us to scan. But trailering the boat was a challenge in the current. On my third and last attempt, as I killed the motors, here goes local subsistence fisherman Sandile, vas with a big fish.

Who could it be now?

On handline, I thought it must be a big carp. Sandile gets them quite often right here where he fishes plenty. Takes them to town and sells them in the rank. But this was no carp. As it came out of the water the unmistakable sheen of a rock salmon reflected in the sun. This was a good fish too, maybe even 3kgs or so.

How far?

I measured 10 km if you followed the river channel. But it could be slightly less. Either way…

  • the river was flowing with floodwater
  • the water was brown and fresh as can be
  • the fish took a live bait in that current and in that murk

Gallery

Umzimkulu Adrenalin is standing by to take you hunting for these formidable fish. Use the big old WhatsApp button floating about somewhere or contact Sean on +27793269671 or on umzimkulu@gmail.com.

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