Urban Fishing at the St. Marys Rapids

Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site

Do you like fishing? You will be happy to know that it’s possible to do urban fishing at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal. Summer months are here and a great way to enjoy the sun is to take your fishing rod down to the St. Marys Rapids.

How to get there

  • Once on site, walk across the lock gates and follow the scenic Attikamek trail on South St. Marys Island to reach the rapids, just before crossing under the USA-Canada international bridge or;
  • Soon after entering the Attikamek trail, cross over the bridge to your left to reach beautiful Whitefish Island. Follow the path and the sounds of flowing water until you reach the rapids.

Important information

  • For your safety, and the safety of boaters, no fishing is allowed in the canal or its approach. Respect signage and stay clear of the flow control gates.
  • Fishing is not permitted in the stream that flows between South St. Marys Island and Whitefish Island. This area is an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources protected fish sanctuary for spawning.
  • Please be respectful of the environment while enjoying this activity. Help us keep the site litter-free and safe for people and wildlife by depositing all garbage in the bins provided.

Popular Catches

Lake Whitefish (Year round):

A valuable, delicious catch with a telltale silver-white belly.  Whitefish Island’s namesake, this species is popular for anglers in both summer and winter.

Atlantic Salmon (July – Mid August):

Good for those who like a little challenge, this treasured catch can be found in the St Marys River and rapids, thanks to restocking efforts in the area.

Chinook Salmon (End August to End October):

This Pacific fish, also known as the King Salmon, is sought after for its nutritious meat.  It also boasts the highest fat content of the pacific salmon species.

Coho Salmon: (Mid-October to December):

Another Pacific Salmon species that was introduced to the Great Lakes, they differentiate themselves from the Chinook Salmon in freshwater phase by their bright red eyes and dark bellies.

Pink Salmon: (End August to End September):

The smallest salmon in Lake Superior, the males develop a surreal-looking hump along the top of their spine during the migratory season, earning them the title of “Humpback Salmon.” This catch can be unpredictable and difficult to land.

Rainbow Trout (steelhead) (Year-round):

There are two forms of Rainbow Trout found in the St. Marys Rapids: the freshwater fish, and the anadromous (migratory) coastal species, known as steelhead. Steelhead can grow much bigger than its local cousin and can vary visually, but both sport an iridescent stripe on their sides and black spots on their tail fins.

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