Monday, September 28, 2020

Salmon runs and deadlines

Atlantic Salmon courtesy NOAA FisheriesRight now, we’re getting down to crunch time at the Adirondack Explorer, wrapping up many of our writing and photo assignments for the November issue.

We’ve got a lot of interesting news and recreational features lined up for this issue, including ones about Boquet and the Saranac rivers and how they’ve been impacted by dams. Atlantic salmon, in particular, have historically seen their spawning grounds cut off by the dams. Not only in the Adirondack region, but on the west, too.

So while our writers have been interviewing scientists and anglers about the subject, I’ve been out gathering photos. This week, I’ve been out with Rich Redman and some of his friends as they’ve been fly fishing near the mouth of the Saranac. So far, the salmon run has been slow, and only a few fish have been spotted making their way up the Boquet and Saranac rivers, but next week is more hopeful. We’re supposed to get some rains this week, which should raise the water levels and make the rivers more inviting for the large fish.

Writer Ry Rivard and I are supposed to go to the Boquet River early this week with scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy to get an idea about how salmon are doing there. A dam was removed in Willsboro a few years ago, making it easier for the salmon to get to their spawning grounds.

It always takes a bit of luck to photograph wildlife and requires being up early and out late, but that’s fine with me because the lighting is best for photos at those times. I got up before dawn to meet the salmon anglers this week and plan to be there with them again tonight as the sun sets on Lake Champlain.

If you want to see how things will be progressing with the salmon run, or any of our stories, I encourage you to follow our Instagram page. I’ll be posting images there daily from my assignments. Sometimes they’ll be carefully edited ones; others are posted from my phone as the action is unfolding. Either way, they’ll give you a clue as to what we’re writing about in the magazine and what’s happening in the Adirondacks.

Atlantic salmon photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Mike’s weekly “Backcountry Journal” email newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Mike Lynch is a staff writer and photographer for the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly news magazine with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues. Mike’s favorite outdoor activities include paddling, hiking, fishing and backcountry skiing. In 2011, he paddled the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine. From 2007 until 2014, Mike worked as an outdoors writer and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake. Mike welcomes story ideas and can be reached at


One Response

  1. Chris says:

    Please keep us informed on the run. Thanks

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