OCT 1st ((Chicago Opening Day Snagging))
This form of fishing (If You Want To call it That?), which is banned altogether in many states, is allowed annually from Oct. 1 to the end of the year at the Lincoln Park lagoon south of Fullerton Parkway and in the inner and outer harbors of Jackson Park on the South Side.
These snaggers equip themselves with stout, stiff rods on the order of a broomstick, thick lines and weighted, grappling-like treble hooks in an attempt to hook chinook (King) and coho salmon in the belly, spine, tail — wherever.
There’s no attempt to entice the fish to bite hooked bait or to strike at a lure. It’s just an attempt to snag anything in the path of that treble hook — either by chance or by sight when anglers spot salmon in the shallows. Thus the signature jerking of the fishing rod in an attempt to set the hook.
Snaggers use these multi-hooked devices to catch salmon in the Lincoln Park lagoon.
The thinking behind the practice is that salmon come into the shallows in the fall to spawn and then die. They’re not feeding, and they’re going to die anyway, so the sportsman’s idea of fair play is that it’s reasonable to take them by any means. It’s been a common practice since salmon were introduced into Lake Michigan in the ’60s and ’70s.
It’s legal in season, albeit just in the Lincoln Park lagoon and in Jackson Park in Chicago. It requires no extra license, just a fishing license with a salmon stamp as with fishing for coho or chinook any other time of the year in Lake Michigan.
There should be a snagging salmon stamp with a hefty charge to discourage this mindless act.
Here is an article I found written some time back….. I feel the same way about this mindless activity!
“Every October and November, a strange and gruesome spectacle takes place along the banks of the boat channel in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Whether I’m riding into work via bike or car I can’t help but ogle the armies of bundled-up men “snagging” for salmon. Snagging is a brutal (but legal) form of fishing, whereby the fisherman hoists a massive, weighted treble hook into the water and “rips” it back and forth trying to gaff a bewildered fish. From my car, it looks like the men are dragging for dead bodies. Why is this vulgar form of fishing legal?”
A sizable portion of Lake Michigan’s salmon is stocked by the DNR. Yet, these creatures are wired to swim upstream in the fall to spawn. Having no river to come home to, the fish choose the man-made channel instead. Only a half-mile long and a few feet deep, the waterway is a deathtrap. Even if eggs were produced, once dropped, the fish dies. Therefore, the city allows people to snag salmon until the run is over. The problem is that many salmon are snagged before they have dropped their eggs, therefore killing any chance of spawning! Some of you greedy snaggers say that spawning salmon are going to die anyway.
THAT IS TRUE…..Just remember, the spawn also dies with the fish!
This is where the rub lies. We need to preserve our future crop of salmon so we can enjoy the fight and natural beauty of a strong salmon run. Plus it makes the fish very line shy and less likely to actually bite. I don’t want any part of snagging and feel it should be banned anywhere Salmon and Trout spawn in the USA!