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Amazing Salmons Fight Their Way Up the River of Port Hope for the Annual Salmon Run

Fall has arrived and the annual salmon run has begun!

At Port Hope, Ontario, we witnessed the incredible survival instinct of salmons.  Every fall, salmons migrate to the upper part of the river to spawn their eggs.  Imagine large salmons jumping a fish ladder and swimming against the strong current just to spawn their eggs!  

When we arrived, we immediately saw the large-sized salmons swimming in the dam.  It seemed like they were resting before their big jump to the fishway.

Amazing Salmons Fight Their Way Up the River of Port Hope for the Annual Salmon Run Corbett's Dam at Port Hope
Corbett’s Dam at Port Hope
Seeing the salmon run is an amazing and unique experience. 

Salmons, as heavy as 20 lbs., leap to the elevated fish ladder and try their luck to get inside the fishway.  The opening is wide enough (about an arm’s length), but the salmons need to be precise on the direction and the height of their jump.  Once they are inside, they still have to swim against the strong current that is flowing OUT of the fishway.

Amazing Salmons Fight Their Way Up the River of Port Hope for the Annual Salmon Run Corbett's Dam Fish Ladder Fishing Port Hope Ganaraska River Salmon Run

We can’t help but applaud and get excited whenever a salmon is successful in its attempt to get inside the fish ladder because only a few were successful.

Amazing Salmons Fight Their Way Up the River of Port Hope for the Annual Salmon Run Corbett's Dam Fish Ladder
Every fall, tourists and locals drive all the way to Port Hope, Ontario to watch the salmon run.

There were some that jumped few inches from the fish ladder and some at the barrier.  It was pitiful but funny because they were just too far from the entry.

Amazing Salmons Fight Their Way Up the River of Port Hope for the Annual Salmon Run Corbett's Dam Fish Ladder

Fishing in Port Hope

After an hour of watching the salmon run, we wanted to try our luck with fishing.  We haven’t tried it before so we were really excited.  If we were lucky, we could bring a salmon home! Yes, it’s allowed! 🙂

Since it was our first time in Port Hope, we had a difficult time finding a good fishing spot.  On our third try, we finally found the perfect spot.  It’s the area of the Ganaraska River near Barrett St.  Apparently, it was popular because a lot of people were fishing along that area.  Salmons were being caught left and right.  Others were having tug-of-wars with the salmons.  It was so exciting!

All of us in our group are amateurs so we watched the pros before we tried to fish.  We had the chance to talk to them and they were very nice!  They gave us a lot of tips and we can really see how passionate they are with their hobby.  After hearing all of their advice, we felt like we had a crash course in fishing!

Amazing Salmons Fight Their Way Up the River of Port Hope for the Annual Salmon Run Corbett's Dam Fish Ladder Fishing Port Hope Ganaraska River Salmon Run

We made numerous attempts but unfortunately, we weren’t able to catch anything.  Maybe it’s the lack of experience or the lack of equipment?  I swear one of the salmons bit my bait!

Despite our multiple failed attempts, we really enjoyed fishing!

If you’re planning to fish in Ontario, you have to know the requirements and rules.  

We have recently learned that Ontario is very strict in its fishing regulations.  We saw police enforcers checking for illegal fishing several times during our trip.

Anyone who wants to fish must have a valid fishing license.  We applied for one-day fishing license prior to this trip.  It’s easy to apply.  It can be done online or at any authorized center like Canadian Tire.  We presented our valid IDs in Canadian Tire and in less than 15 minutes, we received our fishing licenses.  We each paid $14+ for the license.

There are also restrictions in fishing zones, size of the fish, no. of fish you can keep, and type of fish you can catch.

It’s really important to follow these rules, not just to avoid penalties, but to protect the environment and the fish.

For more info on Ontario’s fishing regulations, click here.

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Amazing Salmons Fight Their Way Up the River of Port Hope for the Annual Salmon Run Corbett's Dam Fish Ladder

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11 thoughts on “Amazing Salmons Fight Their Way Up the River of Port Hope for the Annual Salmon Run

    1. Hi Garth, it was definitely a unique experience! 🙂 It’s difficult to imagine until you see it. Thanks for reading!

  1. I have seen salmon runs on travel docos but never actually read someone’s version of seeing it with their own eyes! This is fabulous, I love it! Thank you for the information on fishing for salmon as well, even though we would do that (because we are scuba divers and want to see fishes in the water 🙂 ) we know that this would be a cool thing for people to do after seeing the salmon run and so your advice would be very helpful! I have pinned this for future reference.

  2. This so cool. I have watched lots of salmon fishing in Alaska..best taste anywhere when its fresh so I am sure its the same there. Fun time!

    1. Awesome! Have you tried fishing too? We weren’t able to catch anything so we didn’t get to the chance to taste it. Haha Fun indeed!

  3. I’ve never seen anything like this (off TV) and would find it very interesting. It’s amazing to see watch the video and see how much effort they put into getting upstream. Shame for the failed attempts!

  4. How cool is this!? Didn’t realise you could actually go and experience this relatively easily rather than somewhere really far away from all civilisation! Thanks for sharing!

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