And what’s this?: No sooner had Mark Swann of Black Mountain set the state record for kokanee salmon when some upstart kid went and caught one bigger.
Swann was fishing in Nantahala Lake on Aug. 3 when he reeled in his 2.48-pound record-breaker. The very next day, Levi Towery of Forest City surpassed Swann’s fish by a mere two-tenths of a pound. The 9-year-old Towery’s kokanee weighed a whopping 2.68 pounds and measured 18.4 inches long. According to reports, Towery caught it with the help of a Doctor Spoon. (Props to the little feller for his old-school choice of lures.)
Nantahala Lake is the only place in North Carolina where the kokanee salmon, a Western species, swims. The fish were stocked there in the mid-1960s to serve as forage for larger game-fish, and can sometimes be seen along N.C. 1310 late at night, holding little signs that read “PORTLAND OR BUST” between their delicate pectoral fins. (Kidding!)
The silvery fish typically grow to less than 20 inches and feed almost exclusively on plankton and other small aquatic organisms. (Fact!)
Visit www.ncwildlife.org for the authoritative list of state record catches.
Bald is beautiful: Local author and outdoorsman Chris Dorrity is poised to release his new book, Rumbling Bald Bouldering Guide, this fall. The authoritative guide includes topographic maps, boulder maps, nearly 100 action photos and hundreds of “boulder problems” for the Lake Lure destination. Look for coverage in the Sept. 5 issue of Xpress.