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Salmon is the common name for fish in the order Salmoniformes. They live in the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and are anadromous, which means most types of salmon are born in fresh water, migrate to the sea, and return to freshwater to reproduce, or "spawn".

FactsEdit

Length :Varies from species to species. The cherry salmon has an average length of around 20 inches, while the Chinook salmon has been known to reach almost 5 feet. Weight: 4 to 110 lbs depending on the species. Lifespan: 2 to 8 years depending on the species.

Salmon appearance varies greatly from species to species. Species like chum salmon are silvery-blue in color while some have black spots on their sides, like the Atlantic salmon. Still others, like the cherry salmon, have bright red stripes. Most of these species maintain one color when living in fresh water, then change color when they are in salt water.
Spawning coho in issaquah creek

DietEdit

In general, young salmon eat insects, invertebrates and plankton; adults eat other fish, squid, eels, and shrimp. Unlike all other salmon, the sockeye salmon has a diet that consists almost entirely of plankton.

BehaviorEdit

Most salmon are anadromous fish, meaning they are born in freshwater (rivers or streams), travel to and live much of their lives in salt water and return to freshwater to spawn. After spawning, all Pacific salmon and up to 50% of other species die within a few weeks. The salmon that do not die can spawn two or three more times.

There are a few species and subspecies of salmon, like the Danube salmon and the kokanee salmon, that spend their entire lives in fresh water and never migrate to the ocean.

ReproductionEdit

When the female reaches the place where she will lay her eggs, she makes a depression in the riverbed with her tail, and then deposits her eggs in this depression. She waits for males to fertilize the eggs, then covers the depression and moves on to make another. Females will make as many depressions as it takes to lay all their eggs (up to seven depressions)

King SalmonEdit

The Alaskan King Salmon is the largest species of Pacific Salmon. The present Alaska state sport fishing record is 97.25 lbs taken on the Kenai River. In fact, of the top 10 King Salmon record holders, 9 of these fish were taken in the Kenai River. King Salmon spend from 2-5 years in the ocean so their size in a run varies a lot, the State of Alaska average for this salmon is about 20 lbs, however Kenai King Salmon are typically in the 50 lb range. No other salmon draws as much attention as the King Salmon, which is the official State of Alaska fish

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