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Coho Salmon illustration

Coho Salmon

World Record ~  33 Lbs 4 oz. Caught at Salmon River, Pulaski, NY on Sept. 27, 1989 by angler Jerry Lifton

Scientific name ~  Oncorhynchus Kisutch

Other names ~ Silver Salmon, Silversides, Hookbill, Hooknose, Sea Trout, Blueback

Identification ~  Coho salmon have dark metallic blue or greenish backs with silver sides and a light belly and there are small black spots on the back and upper lobe of the tail while in the ocean. The gum line in the lower jaw has lighter pigment, being whiteish or gray,  than does the Chinook salmon whose gums are black. Spawning fish in inland rivers are dark with reddish-maroon coloration on the sides.

Size ~  The size of an adult Coho may measure more than 2 feet in length and can weigh up to 36 pounds. However, the average weight of a sport fish caught Coho is 8 pounds.

Habitat ~ Coho spend approximately the first half of their life cycle rearing and feeding in streams and small freshwater tributaries. Spawning habitat is small streams with stable gravel substrates. The remainder of the life cycle is spent foraging in estuarine and marine waters of the Pacific Ocean. The species was historically distributed throughout the North Pacific Ocean from central California to Point Hope, Alaska, through the Aleutian Islands, and from the Anadyr River, Russia, south to Hokkaido, Japan.

Feeding Habits ~ In their freshwater stages, Coho feed on plankton and insects, and switch to a diet of small fishes as adults in the ocean. The diet of adult Coho include herring, pilchards, squid, and crustaceans.


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