Catching salmon is shocking experience
BY MICHAEL JOHNSON
If you were as good at catching fish as Russ Kinzler, you might get paid to do it, too.
He spends his October days catching Chinook salmon on the many fingers of Lake Sakakawea. And shockingly, he almost always takes home more than his limit.
Kinzler, the Missouri River System fisheries biologist, has been working with fellow North Dakota Game & Fish employees Aaron Slominski and seasonal employee Zach Jjos to catch the quota of fish needed to make sure that the rest of us continue to catch salmon year after year.
The Game & Fish, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, catches salmon from the lake, removes the eggs and sperm from the fish and raises up millions of fingerling salmon at the Garrison National Fish Hatchery to be released back into the system.
It’s quite a process. For everything to go well, it requires someone who knows how and where to get the fish. That’s where Kinzler and his crew come in with their electroshock boat.
Netting the salmon requires floating the edges of the lake with electrical power surging through the water.