Adipose-Clipped Chinook Salmon in Lake Superior
In 2014, Lake Superior salmon anglers might have seen Chinook salmon missing their adipose fin (the small fleshy lobe found on the fish's back, just forward of the tail fin). Beginning in 2012, the Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division stocked clipped Chinook in Lake Superior. Now as two-year olds these fish will begin to show up in the fishery.
The Chinook were clipped to help evaluate what proportion of angler catches are either from hatchery or natural origin. Fin-clip data collected by Lake Superior creel clerks will help make this determination.
A total of almost 750,000 clipped Chinook have been stocked in Lake Superior during 2012-2013. Stocked at Black River Harbor, Silver City and Marquette, these fish range widely and anglers are apt to catch them anywhere in the lake.
Although clipped as part of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife's mass marking program, stocked Lake Superior Chinook do not have associated coded wire tags implanted in their snouts, as is generally the case for adipose-clipped trout and salmon in the Great Lakes.