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Kokanee Salmon Record Broken Again

1196 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  rgarbar
Nantahala Lake, a 1,065-acre reservoir in Clay and Macon counties, has spawned two state records for kokanee salmon in less than a week.
On June 6, Fred Mix, of Rainbow Springs, broke the existing record of 3 pounds, 9 ounces, held since 2009 by Ashley Swann, of Swannanoa, after reeling in a 3-pound, 15-ounce fish, using a homemade spinner.
Five days later, on June 11, Jeffery Todd Smith broke Mix’s record, catching a kokanee salmon that weighed 4 pounds, 1 ounce. He used flashers and dodgers as lures.
Like many anglers in the area, Smith, who is from Mills River in Henderson County, knew that kokanee salmon are found in North Carolina only in Nantahala Lake, having been stocked in the mid-1960s by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission in an attempt to establish the species as a forage fish.
He said he has been trolling the lake for the last two years, hoping to catch a record-breaking salmon. On June 11, which happened to be his day off as well as his birthday, Smith finally achieved his goal, reeling in the state record fish after trolling for nearly nine hours.
He had the fish weighed on certified scales at the Ingles supermarket in Bryson City that night, and the next day, Jacob Rash, the Commission’s coldwater research coordinator, examined and certified the fish.
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Wish it could have been you that broke the record rgarbar.
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Thanks Banjo:). IMHO I feel the state record for Kokanee can be broken again this season. The growth rate of the salmon seems better than average this year. All the salmon I have caught this season have excellent girth. I am thinking that with all the development at Nantahala Lake, the lake might be becoming somewhat more fertile producing more plankton and zooplankton that the Kokanee feed on. This years spawners(4 year old fish) have a few more months left to put on some length and weight so I feel it is possible for another large Kokanee to be caught eclipsing the current record. Unfortunately for me my boat has a leak and my fish finder is acting crazy:mad:. I have not fished for about 2 weeks but hope to back on the lake next week:p.
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Interesting you bring up that point about development. In Jackson County we have very stringent rules for setbacks, runoff, septic, etc. as a result I think our lake has less nutrients than in years past and we don't have nearly the fishing we used to enjoy. If rain is running off of granite there is not much being added organically into a body of water. A good sewage spill every now and again would help.{may get a response from that one}
Nice job, guys. For both of the fellas that broke the old record and the new one.

At Nantahala there are a number of primitive campsites scattered around the lake and on 2 islands as well. None of these places have toilets. Many home sites have cleared land to get a better view of the lake. More runoff. Badly designed gravel and dirt roads. More runoff. Many homes in my subdivision have lawns and small gardens which are probably fertilized. The septic systems I have seen including the one on my house seem pretty primitive compared to other homes I have owned. The wakes from high speed boats are also causing a number of land slides as well as dropping trees . Just my opinion but the lake seems to get a little greener in the summer each year.
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