The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday announced an amateur angler broke a 53-year-old state record when he reeled in a coho salmon weighing 10 pounds, 14 ounces.
David Cichosz was on a charter fishing trip on Lake Superior in St. Louis County with his wife, Chris Sky, when he caught the coho salmon, also known as a silver salmon, on Sept. 4. Sky caught the first fish, a lake trout, and the pair caught many more lake trout before starting to fish for salmon.
Sky first noticed the rod really moving, and Cichosz took over.
I quickly grabbed it and was off on the fight, Cichosz said. I kept thinking to myself, am I gaining any line on this fish?”
He said he considered tightening the drag, but Captain Kent Paulsen told him to let the fish take out line. Once the fish broke the surface, I could tell by our captains response that we had a big fish, Cichosz said.
They weighed the fish and took pictures on the boat, then headed to a certified scale at a grocery store in Duluth. The next day, they submitted the paperwork to the Department of Natural Resources.
Coho salmon are naturally found in the North Pacific Ocean, and in the U.S., they’re found in streams and rivers along the West Coast, most abundantly from southeastern Alaska to Oregon, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
The species has been introduced in all of the Great Lakes, as well as some other reservoirs in the U.S., according to NOAA Fisheries.
Adult coho salmon can weigh 8–12 pounds. In the ocean, they feed on small fishes including herring, sandlance, anchovies, and sardines, but in fresh water they feed on plankton and insects.“I am thankful for the record but at the end of the day, I am happy to just share the joy of fishing with new friends and fellow [anglers] and to be on the lake with my wife,” Cichosz said.
TMX contributed to this article.