What are These Fish Swimming Up the Big Sioux in Falls Park?
We have some family in town visiting. So Sunday (July 15) we took them to walk around Falls Park (as required by ancient Sioux Falls Law). While the family was going from the bridge to the observation tower to riverside, they saw something we've never seen there before. There were fish, it looked like, swimming upstream in the Big Sioux River, jumping out of the water trying to get up a little waterfall. Just like salmon.
My wife captured it on video.
My days of lures, bobbers, and casting are pretty much behind me. I fished quite a bit as a child, but not so much anymore. I'd know what to do if the zombie apocalypse came and I had to fish for food, but I'm not really an outdoor kid anymore. Plus my experience with fish is in the bluegill and catfish from a Nebraska pond area. So I don't really know what lives in the Big Sioux. Besides tires I mean.
So I did what I do, I turned to research to answer my question. I found that according to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks there are 23 species of game fish in South Dakota. Well, that's a lot of fish. I needed to narrow it down. Turns out South Dakota has a lot of lakes and rivers.
According to Lake Link you're likely to catch eight species of fish in the Big Sioux.
Taking that list and looking at the GFP's Guide to Common Fishes, the likely suspects are Walleye or Bass. They both can be found in this part of the state and are migratory species of fish. But I couldn't find anything about either of them being fish that jump out of the water. I mean, I did some quick research, I don't that much time on my hands. It wasn't like I was writing a paper for school, or researching the character history of someone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So, without a definitive answer, I turned to the one source of information I should have from the start. The one person I know that has spent more time catching fish than a pelican, my dad. I sent him the above video. Less than two minutes later he said, "Most likely Rainbow or Brown trout."
Experience had forced me to learn that dad knows what he's talking about, so I should listen. Whether its credit cards (or avoiding them), car maintenance (you know like I should do it), or choosing better people to hang out with (Damn you 14 to 19-year-old myself). So if dad says they are probably trout, that's what I'm going with.
Oh, by the way, there is a kind of salmon that can be found in South Dakota, the Chinook Salmon. It's typically found in the upper Missouri River. I wonder if they would be good on the grill?