The photo shows the NEW "catch & release" WORLD RECORD 99.125-pound Chinook Salmon landed on the Skeena River August 7, 2001. Also shown in the photo is the lucky angler Ingrid Oeder and AG Wolfgang Voelker!
Catch & Release of Record Salmon
Mrs. Ingrid Oeder, her husband Bernhard and their daughter arrived at Terrace Airport on August 6, 2001.
We went out fishing by boat the very next day. Fortunately, John Wright, the Kermode Bear Lodge Assistant Guide, joined us that day. We cast anchor right across the mouth of the Lakelse River. Suddenly, around 11 a.m., there was action on Ingrid's rod. Bernhard hooked the fish and handed the rod back to her. Initially, there was no reaction on the other end of the line for about 10-15 seconds. All of a sudden, like an explosion, the fish headed toward the main current of the Skeena River. At this point, I realized that this must be a really big one. We were lucky having John with us since we have been well-coordinated team for years. John released the anchor chain and started the boat engine. Now we're prepared for the fight. I advised Ingrid to hold the rod up and to keep the line tight. In spite of her excitement she did everything right. We drifted downstream while Bernhard was operating the video camera. I would guess that we were fighting about 30 to 40 minutes with the fish, of course, Ingrid had to do most part of it. At last, the fish showed the first signs of tiredness and therefore the escape attempts lessened. Then it was my turn. After Ingrid finally managed to get the fish alongside the boat, I was able to net it. John and I lifted the salmon into the boat. Ingrid, meanwhile completely exhausted could not believe her luck. We drove back at full speed, since we did not want to set the fish back in the torrential current. I explained to Ingrid that we usually release all "the really big ones" to preserve the gene pool. She and her husband agreed to it without hesitation.
At this point, I want to thank them again for their understanding. We took the measurements (136 cm x 98 cm) of the Salmon two times because could not believe it the first time. John and I put the giant back into the river approximately 10 minutes later, it swam into the deep water under its own steam. There was a devout silence on the boat for a few seconds.
In the afternoon Bernhard caught his own smaller Chinook. This one, however, we took with us. Certainly, we will never forget this fishing day on the Skeena River.
The monster fish with a length of 53.5 inches and a girth of 38.5 using a formula (endorsed by FOC) of Length x Girth squared divided by 800 would weigh 99.125-pounds....clearly the largest Chinook (Kings as the Americans refer to them) ever landed. Along with witnesses a video was taken and a photograph made from the video.