Saturday, October 3, 2015

Salmon Swimming Upstream in Milwaukee River Now

It's officially Salmon migration time for the Milwaukee River Parks.  If you're a fisherman, check the local fishing reports to see what comments are being made about fishing at a particular spot.  I'll add a link here for fishermen...or those who just enjoy a good story about fishing.  There was an active blog that first got me looking for salmon on the river back in 2010 called Seeking Trout.  The link I've provided is for that story they wrote about fishing the Milwaukee river for salmon. It has some good photos and video. The blog doesn't seem to be active any longer but the stories about fish from many interesting locations are there for the reading.  It may give you some fishing tips too. This is also a good time to drive to Kewaunee or Racine to see the DNR fish facilities where they collect eggs.

If you're like me and just enjoy seeing the fish jump, check out the places in the river where you can find rapids or small waterfalls. The fish begin their journey up river from Lake Michigan in late September.  These are what some people call "half dead' fish.  When the river is shallow, as it is now, they get beat up on the rocks which only makes it worse.

There's a spot near North Avenue bridge where the water is full of rapids and rocks.  I was there a few weeks ago and since then, there is a new mural under the bridge, so you get to see fish and art at the same time.  It was a community mural project done for the Urban Ecology Center at Riverside Park and displays birds found in the Milwaukee area.  I borrowed a photo from my friend's Facebook page to give you a preview.  You can access this place by taking the East Bank Trail from the Rotary Centennial Arboretum. You can also download a complete map, which includes this bridge, from that link.

As you go upstream from here, the next good viewpoint is at Hubbard Park in Shorewood.  Stop in and have a cool drink at the Beer Garden if it's open.  You'll see nice foliage here in the coming weeks. too. This is a great place for Friday Fish Fry or Sunday brunch at Hubbard Park Lodge.

The Estabrook and Kletzsch Parks have smaller waterfalls.   I've written before about these parks during the salmon run and you can read that blog here.

To get to the Estabrook waterfall, take the stairs down below the beer garden.  This park gets very busy on a nice weekend, and the parking lot fills up. It's a prime location for dogs, skateboarding, biking, and disc golf.  There's also a nice playground. The fishermen tell me the fish are easier to catch closer to Capitol Drive.

Kletzsch park has the best opportunities for both viewing and catching fish.  Fish are caught here before they make the jump where they pool among rocks. Unfortunately, this tends to be really messy with careless  people who leave their fish guts and garbage behind.  Hopefully that won't happen this year, but you've been warned. You can park along the roadway at Kletzsch or there is a parking lot closer to the playground.
Kletzsch waterfall with a salmon in the air

Estabrook waterfall

Estabrook Beer Garden
Hope you enjoy seeing some fish this fall!  Let me know how your outing goes by commenting!
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