In Owen Sound yesterday, we stood on the bridge in Harrison Park and watched the salmon fight their way upstream to spawn. The Sydeham River is about 50 feet wide and a foot deep here, running over a bed of gravel and boulders.
By the late 1950's fisheries experts were searching for something dramatic to change the situation. Howard Tanner, head of fisheries for the State of Michigan, decided to try introducing salmon. It was an overnight success. Salmon fed widely on the Alewives, growing fast, and creating some sort of artificial balance in the system. Today the sports fishery is far more valuable than the commercial fishery, though some old tugs still go out after Whitefish. The salmon are still widely dependent on stocking, but natural spawning is also part of the picture.
Here in Owen Sound you can go and see the salmon in action very easily.