Salmon is certainly one of the dishes you have to eat when you visit Norway, but it has to be wild salmon! Wild salmon is caught in rivers by local fishermen. Every year a number of fishing licences are ‘lotto-ed’ out to the local fishermen in each area around Norway–the fishing restrictions ensure a good season for next year. (Norwegians love salmon so much that if there were no restrictions, wild salmon would be extinct by now!)
In Alta, licence-free fishing ends Midsummer’s Eve, so it is a tradition for all the locals (who haven’t won the licence lotto) to celebrate the middle of summer by the water to try their luck one more time before the clock strikes twelve.
With some salmon rivers, such as Tverrelva, it can be mighty tough for salmon to jump up the rocks and white water to their natural breeding grounds when lots of fishermen have their lines about. So, to make fishing a fair game for the Salmon, the Norwegian Fishing Federation sometimes create detours in rivers for the fish. Instead of having to jump up a raging waterfall, they can go up a ‘ladder’ to make their trip a little easier.
As a fisherman, you might be thinking ‘Oh, boy, come to Pappa!’ but there is a ‘catch’:
Fishing Prohibition Zone
All fishing is prohibited in the prohibition zone.
The zone stretches 50 metres above and below the salmon ladder. It is forbidden to fish and to trespass inside the area around the salmon ladder.
Illegal fishing is reported to…
Norway certainly looks after its natural resources – not only for fame and fortune – Norwegian salmon is famous all over the world (the Japanese love it in their sushi!) – but for heritage and a strange sort of ‘fish’ romanticism. Even though salmon for dinner is common, it still gets an old farmer giddy as a kid.