Reflecting on Salmon-a-Rama

Filleted fish
Filleted fish are pushed towards the large garbage disposal in the drain of the fish cleaning station at Salmon-a-Rama on July 18, 2010 in Racine, Wis. | Canon 1D Mark III and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens @ 70mm | Exposed 1/80 sec. @ f/5.6, ISO 400 (0EV)

On Sunday, Salmon-a-Rama wrapped up with angler Roger Hellen taking the grand prize of $10,000 for his 41.5 pound Brown trout caught on Thursday.  It was the final day of the tournament, and I knew that it was a make-or-break day for me as I needed a few more interviews and some different images.  I was tired of hauling all of the lenses that I had been taking with me every day, so in favor of the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens that is my standard telephoto, I borrowed my dad’s 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens–one of only two Canon lens that intentionally diffracts light to create a more compact lens.  (The other is my longest lens, the 400mm f/4 DO IS.)

I’m hoping to put together an audio slideshow of Salmon-a-Rama that could stand alone from, as well as become a part of, my master’s project on Asian carp and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

Fish cleaning station
Cleaned and filleted salmon from the "Norwegian Fishing Team," composed of friends Chris Dorsey, Shane Callen, and Pete Brekke, sit at the end of the cleaning station at the close of Salmon-a-Rama. | Canon 5D Mark II and 24-70mm f/2.8L lens @ 35mm | Exposed 1/80 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 100 (0EV)

Need a moment?
"Need a moment?" Shane Callen, left, Chris Dorsey, middle, and Pete Brekke, right share a moment before the awards ceremony at Salmon-a-Rama on July 18, 2010 in Racine, Wis. The trio called themselves "The Norwegian Fishing Team," and Dorsey took fourth place for "master angler." | Canon 1D Mark III and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens @ 265mm | Exposed 1/250 sec. @ f/5.6, ISO 200 (0EV)

Paul Lohman
Paul Lohman knocks back a Miller Lite at the conclusion of Salmon-a-Rama on July 18, 2010 in Racine, Wis. Lohman said he has participated in "every Salmon-a-Rama since 1974, and this is the best one ever." | Canon 1D Mark III and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens @ 115mm | Exposed 1/160 sec. @ f/5.6, ISO 400.

Checking in at the Weigh Station

Weighing in Lake perch at Salmon-a-Rama
Yellow perch spasm on the table while Jeff Zinuticz, center, a fishery technician for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Craig Bender, left, the co-director of Salmon-a-Rama, measure and weigh angler Joe Staszewski's catch on Thursday, July 15, 2010 in Racine, Wis. After discovering that the perch were not prize-winning, Staszewski said that "they were hitting better before, but now Salmon-a-Rama has come." | Canon 5D Mark II and 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens @ 16mm | Exposed 1/80 sec. @ f/4, ISO 800 (+1.33 EV)

Last night I had a fairly productive evening at Salmon-a-Rama.  I still need a couple of audio interviews, to gather some ambient sound, and to shoot some video, but I have the feeling it will all come together.

Some of the photos are more visual “notes” that I like the idea of an image, but that a given frame is not enough to push it into the final edit.  I’m hoping to perfect all of these frames before the week is out, although the one above may be tough to beat given that the Yellow perch (“Lake perch”) were still jumpin’ on the table!

Please scroll down for the rest of the photos and, as always, comments and criticism welcome! Continue reading “Checking in at the Weigh Station”

The Largest Fishing Tournament on the Great Lakes

Fishing poles
Fishing poles rest in one of the official buckets given to registrants of Salmon-a-Rama at Reefpoint Marina, Racine, Wis. The lines of the poles were tied off to beer bottles to alert the fishermen if a fish tugged at the bait. | Canon 1D Mark III and 70-200mm f/4L IS lens @ 89mm | Exposed 1/800 sec. @ f/4, ISO 100 (+1 EV)

The largest freshwater fishing tournament in the Great Lakes kicked off on July 10 in Racine, Wis.  One of the great concerns about the possibility of Asian Silver and Bighead carp entering into Lake Michigan is the potential for the destruction of sport fishing due to the radical changes that could happen to the food chain.  The carp are voracious filter-feeders, and could out-compete the fish that serve as “food” for the trout and salmon, and could be the final nail in the coffin for the lake perch.

It wasn’t foremost on the minds of the anglers participating in Salmon-a-Rama, but when I explained the idea of my project, there seemed to be universal concern about the invasive carp, most recently found only six miles from the shoreline of Lake Michigan.  It’s encouraging that this project is relevent even if the environmental outlook for the Great Lakes seems to be discouraging. Continue reading “The Largest Fishing Tournament on the Great Lakes”