Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The DEC confirms it - It was a Wild Atlantic Salmon

It is confirmed by DEC expert on the subject - the fish was a wild Atlantic Salmon:

From DEC's email:

"First, we got the opinion of Connecticut's salmon expert and he agrees with you. His response: "This is definitely an Atlantic salmon. Moreover, I do not believe that it is a hatchery fish—one of the broodstock that we stock into the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers as part of the broodstock trophy fishery. I believe this to be a wild, post-spawned Atlantic salmon departing the Connecticut River, not entering it. I suspect that it entered the river last year, spawned, and was late to depart back to the ocean as a kelt due to the absence of a spring freshet. The fish is very skinny and not fully reconditioned as we would expect a bright incoming sea-return fish to have done. You can see that it is mostly head. It may have gotten lost in Long Island Sound and begun feeding and partially reconditioned."

Now the bad news. Atlantic salmon are an endangered species and you are prohibited by law to take or possess them. We know it was not intentional, and that the fish died because of bleeding. If you still have the fish or any parts of it, I'd ask that you please surrender it to DEC and we'll send it to Connecticut for analysis. I can make arrangements to have it picked up by Law Enforcement. We will not file any charges."

Since I have anticipated this answer I have saved tissue, scales and flesh along with high resolution pictures of the fish.

It is a little bit sad that I couldn't released this wild fish last Sunday. But it also may be the sign that environmental efforts are paying off and that fisheries around New York City are improving but we still do need to pay close attention to its fragile habitat.

An incredible wild fish and may be the sign that wild Atlantic Salmons are back

Monday, April 29, 2013

I caught an Atlantic Salmon in New York City - From the Bronx, on my kayak!

Unbelievable... but true!

Last week my wife told me to "go catch some striped bass" and it was with a lot of confidence that I planned my fishing.

Friday after work went kayaking by night in Pehlam Bay until 11:30 pm for nothing (and I saw people landing bass (big) from shore - froze my arse off and it was frustrating...

Saturday: hit JayBay from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm for... nada... same story I heard people catching them from the kayak... [Very] frustrating..

On Sunday, my wife and I went to Pelham Bay, in the Bronx for a picnic on the shore and after we are finished eating, well, I wanted to try a couple of time with my spinning rod, casting a white grub and my wife was reeling it in... On her first retrieve - BLAM! a healthy upper teen fish! Was thrilled for her but when I tried I couldn't hook a single one! I was almost about to give up and face the truth... my luck is gone, even my wife outfish me :)

Almost by pity, she granted me a one hour paddle from City Island, while she took a nap in the car. Conditions were "so-so", strong winds pushing offshore, cold water and absolutely no one on the water (why would you go? right?).

Gearing up, I know this is truly my last "chance" to land one. So I started to paddle and aim for a couple of submerged blocks I know, using this same "white grub", thinking its "mojo" could be my savior...

Well, on my first cast I "felt" something... A short "thunk"... Considering my level of luck, I thought it was maybe a bunker that rolled in my line or short bass... Anyway, I make another cast, this time in the rocks, reeling fast, and BLAM! now that is a "real" fish... Funny though, it doesn't fight like a bass, nor like a bluefish... I am like "hey, may be it is a weakfish!"

After a rather short battle I finally get to see "it" - a dark blue fish... that looks like a trout! WTF is this? Also, I see that it has swallowed the grub and the hook is in the gills deep :(... After a little struggle to calm it down, I have leashed it to see if the gills will stop bleeding but after few minutes, the fish is no more...

I head back to shore, looking at this gorgeous fish... Man, did I tried hard for this one! I have caught a lot of salmonids (brown, coho, king) in my life but this one is not a trout (since the eye and jaw line are aligned) and it's not still clear if it is an Atlantic Salmon or a Steelhead - DEC will analyse to confirm and identify it.

Since I really like "Jacks bait and Tackle" I showed the fish and the guys were like "I have been workin' here for more than 15 years, and I have never seen something like this ever" - was a lot of fun.

It is still a "bitter-sweet" catch since I would have rather released the fish, but since it was badly hooked, there is nothing I could have done.

All the best and keep fishing!

An Atlantic Salmon in New York City!

A close up on the fish!

Another Shot for the Road :) 

Monday, April 15, 2013

A NEW SPONSOR - HPA France, the specialist of waterproof bags and equipment for Stand Up Paddling, Fishing and kayaking is now my official sponsor

Dear readers,

I am stoked to announce that I am now officially a sponsored paddler for HPA Equipement - http://www.hpa.fr/ - a company focused on the design, manufacturing and distribution of waterproof bags and accessories serving the Stand Up Paddling, Fishing and professional markets.

HPA sent me a lot of very useful goodies including fully waterproof bags, ceramic knife, a "fish box" designed to be placed on the front of the SUP, a lot of rigging leashes, waterproof pack to store my Iphone, shorts and a camera bag...

To say that I am grateful is an understatement, I very happy to count HPA as my sponsor as I am already preparing for Jamaica Bay Kayak fishing tournament in New York City, in which I intent to compete, on my Stand Up Paddle board in the Fly-Fishing division of course!

Stay tuned...

Chers lecteurs,

Je suis très content de vous annoncer que je suis officiellement sponsorise par HPA, http://www.hpa.fr/, une société spécialisée dans le design, la fabrication et la distribution de sacs étanches et d'accessoires pour le stand up paddle, la pêche et les professionels du nautisme.
HPA m'a envoyé une super sélection de sac étanches, un couteau a lame céramique et une "fish box" qui est designe pour etre installée sur le pont du SUP, un short et des packs étanches pour Iphone.

Dire que je suis reconnaissant est insuffisant, je suis vraiment heureux du support de HPA et cela tombe tres bien car je compte participer cette année a la compétition de pêche en kayak de "Jamaica Bay" prévue le 16 Mai prochain a New York. Compétition que je vais faire en Stand Up Paddle, dans la division Pêche a la mouche!

A bientôt!

HPA Water Proof Bags - My New Sponsor