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Caught Salmon Breaks State Record

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks

An angler on Lake Oahe has broken a state record by snagging a large Chinook salmon. Officials say this is one of many large salmon found in the lake.

Fisherman Derrick Cotch broke South Dakota’s salmon size record with a 31 and a half pound salmon at the end of July. The previous record was set last August at only 24 pounds. South Dakota Game Fish and Parks officials say that many salmon are caught at Lake Oahe. But the ones that are typically weigh more than 25 pounds. 
Robert Hanten is a Fishery Biologist for the Game Fish and Parks. He says the high weights come from having the right environment for the fish.
“It’s really got to do with actually having kind of a reestablishment of having a rebuilding of the number of salmon in the system since the flood and also having a really good food source of lake herring. Lake herring are a cold-water, high oil content, high energy, cold-water prey fish that when you have small lake herring in a, in a system like this, they really are the ideal food to grow large salmon,” says Hanten.
Hanten says the Chinook salmon population has come a long way since they were introduced to South Dakota in the 1980s. He says fisheries like the one at Whitlock Bay keep the population up through artificial reproduction.