Research fisheries biologist Tim Sheehan is currently in Qaqortoq, Greenland with collaborator Jon Carr Vice President of Research and Environment for the Atlantic Salmon Federation tagging adult Atlantic salmon with special pop-off satellite tags. These special tags will help collect information about adult salmon movements and behaviors in and around Greenland, and during their migration back to their home rivers to spawn. Here’s what Tim’s reporting.
The trip to get here was a solid 36+ hours capped off with a slow ferry (5+ hour) boat ride from Narsarsuaq to Qaqortoq, Greenland. Got in safe and sound late Tuesday night, October 2 and was on the water all day Wednesday, October 3.
Qaqortoq is located in southwestern Greenland on the Labrador Sea. Qaqortoq is the 4th largest town in Greenland. It is located within Igaliko Fjord and has a population of about 3,000.
Trolling in the Fjord
On October 3 we were fishing with a local, trying to live capture and release adult Atlantic salmon with a pop-off satellite tag.
We are trolling in the fjord right outside of Qaqortoq. Trolling is a fishing method that drags lures through the water. While it’s an uncommon fishing method here, it’s a common technique across many parts of the world, especially the U.S. It’s usually associated with recreational fishing as catch rates aren’t nearly as high as using gillnets, the more common (commercial) fishing approach for salmon at Greenland or other commercial gears.
The local we’re working with has been trolling for salmon for 10+ years – mostly for fun and to catch a few fish for his own personal use. Fishing for salmon for fun in Greenland is very uncommon, as I have encountered very few people here that recreationally fish for salmon.
Our first attempts at trolling were moderately successful. We hooked a few fish and were able to tag and release one.
Fish Traps Are Another Option
Jon Carr of the Atlantic Salmon Federation arrived a few days before me and set up different types of traps to try and passively catch salmon. They’re up and running and we shall see how they operate.
Tim Sheehan, NEFSC research fishery biologist