A World Record – Is There Another?

The landlocked Atlantic salmon, or Ouananiche as it’s known by First Nations, is a miracle of adaptive evolution. Genetically they’re identical to their sea-running brothers and sisters, but have been cut off from the sea by geological upheavals since the last Ice Age.

Although much diminished in both size and quantity in the southern range, landlocked salmon are still abundant in Newfoundland and Labrador’s vast wilderness. Here, they grow large – very large – in the food-rich, freshwater ecosystems in which they have evolved over thousands of years. The world-record landlocked salmon came from the Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador and weighed a stunning 22 pounds, 11 ounces. There is no doubt that larger landlocked are out there, waiting to shatter that record. Landlocked salmon possess all of the qualities of sea-running Atlantics – and one more on top: unlike the sea-runners, they actively feed in freshwater. This makes them infinitely easier to catch. In fact, their aggressive takes can be downright heart-stopping, and then they take to the air, living up to their Latin name ‘salmo’, meaning ‘the leaper’. They are incredibly strong, beautiful fish and put up a battle to the end. Catching a large landlocked Atlantic salmon should be on every angler’s life list. In Newfoundland and Labrador these native salmon reach their full potential as an ultimate game fish. And the numbers will amaze you. It is undoubtedly the best place in the world to catch big, native landlocked salmon.