Large Pink out of Sac River


Mar 11, 2001
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REDDING--A Tehama County man has landed a Sacramento River salmon that, at 8.66 pounds, would qualify for Alaska's annual trophy fish competition.

The Department of Fish and Game's Region 1 office in Redding said biologists have verified that Mike Daily, 32, of Bend, indeed caught an adult, male pink salmon while he was fishing for Sacramento king salmon south of Jellys Ferry Bridge in late September.

An uncommon species for the Sacramento River, pink salmon--also known as hump-backs because the males develop a large hump during spawning runs--are generally associated with waters from northern Oregon to Alaska. Pinks have been observed in the Sacramento River system in past years, the DFG said, and have turned up occasionally in commercial catches at sea off California as far south as San Diego.

Daily, a diesel mechanic who landed his first king salmon this year in the same general area of his pink catch, said he caught the fish back-trolling a common gear setup comprising a T55 flatfish wrapped with an anchovy. The pink measured 26 inches long, he said.

"A neighbor fishing with me was worried that we might have landed some sort of endangered species," Daily said, recalling their surprise at seeing the small, humped salmon in their net. Convinced the fish was legal, they took it home and got help from a neighbor and, later, the DFG in identifying the species.

"As soon as we heard it had those black spots on its tail, we pretty much knew he had a pink," said biologist Larry Hanson, who accompanied fellow biologist Mike Berry to Daily's home to verify the fish's identity.

Fish and Game said it has inland water angling records for the biggest king, silver and kokanee salmon, but no records for pinks. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game said the minimum weight for a pink salmon to be entered in Alaska's annual trophy program is eight pounds.

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