Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
270Trip End Ongoing
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When we checked in at our last campground Jared asked about a good spot to go see the Salmon run. The owners gave us directions to a site in Pulaski, NY and to where the Salmon Hatchery is located in Pulaski, NY. We headed out from the campground and made our way towards Pulaski. We were able to find a parking spot and hang out on a bridge with some other onlookers to see a good amount of fishermen up and down river. We only saw one kid reel in a salmon and one guy have one on the line, but he wasn't able to reel it in before the line snapped. However, we did see a bunch of salmon jumping in the river. Unfortunately you never know when that is going to happen so I didn’t get any jumping on camera. After checking out the fishermen for a while we decided to continue upstream to the hatchery.
We arrived at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery and headed inside to check out all the information they had on the salmon run. After reading the information inside and seeing all the behind the scene rooms, we headed outside to see the fish ladder. This is a "ladder" the salmon use to swim “upstream” into the hatchery so that the spawning can take place in a controlled environment. It is more like steps up that the fish literally jump up to the next higher level. When the hatchery opens the gates the fish are able to get into the holding ponds before they are “processed.” Processing consists of collecting the sperm/eggs from the fish. The female fish are killed to remove their eggs (apparently the die after laying their eggs anyway), the sperm is collected from the male fish and then they are released in to the river again, the eggs are impregnated and then incubated. When the young salmon reach a certain length they are released out in the river again for migration to Lake Ontario. Apparently before the young salmon are released they are held in water from the area for imprinting purposes. This causes the salmon to then return to the same area when it is time for spawning later in life.
It was pretty cool to see all the salmon swimming up the ladder trying to get inside to the hatchery
After finishing up at the hatchery we drove about 5 more miles down the road to the Salmon River Falls. This is a 110 foot vertical drop in the river. We followed a short trail out to the falls so that we could get a good look. It was pretty cool to see and we definitely got some gorgeous pictures. Next we stopped at one more fishing location to try to see some more fishermen, but there weren’t any in the area we stopped at and we weren’t able to see any salmon jumping so we continued on our way for Cooperstown, NY.