Kewaunee County, WI, United States (4E Sports) – Once again, Kewaunee County has topped the Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Tournament, owing to its two busy ports at Algoma and Kewaunee.
Kewaunee County has dominated the chinook catch event of the tournament for 18 straight seasons, becoming the only county to ever have a 100,000-plus-chinook harvest in a single year.
The county has done it five times in the past 10 years — most recently in 2012. It also topped the steelhead catch category in 22 of the past 25 years, including 12 straight.
After a near-record chinook catch in 2012, the 2013 numbers dipped to their lowest level since 2000.
Different factors have been blamed for the dip in number, including too much bait, too much “ideal” water and fish feeding far offshore, among others.
However, charters and privates found abundant “silvers” — non-spawning chinooks, cohos and steelhead — three to eight miles off shore. It was the most consistent fishing of the season.
Despite warnings from researchers that the lake’s forage base was dropping, the average size of last year’s chinooks was up dramatically, with more 20-pound-plus specimens than had been seen in years.
The top 57 chinooks in the Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Tournament ranged from 25 to more than 32 pounds.
With a pair of Department of Natural Resources egg-collection facilities at Sturgeon Bay and Kewaunee, the K/D Peninsula is the most heavily stocked chinook and steelhead spot on Lake Michigan.