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~ 15 Lbs 3 oz. Caught on the Kenai River, AK on Aug. 9, 1987 by angler
~ Oncorhynchus Nerka
~ Sockeye, red salmon, blue back, kokanee
~ The Sockeye Salmon is the slimmest and most streamlined
of the Pacific Salmon. The Sockeye has a metalic blue back and
head with bright silver sides. Although ocean-going sockeye are silver
in color, with small black speckles along the body, the recollection
many people have of this fish is that of the sockeye returning to
freshwater to spawn. As sockeye approach their home streams, they turn
varying shades of red - resulting in a brilliant scarlet fish with a
green head by the time they have arrived at their point of natal origin.
~ Angler caught Sockeye are usually 4 to 6 pounds
~ The main spawning area of sockeye salmon extends from the Fraser River
to Alaska's Bristol Bay. Most sockeye in BC and the Yukon spawn in late
summer or fall in lake-fed systems; at lake outlets, in lakes, or in
streams flowing into lakes. Some of these lakes have been cut off from
the ocean and have a land locked species of Sockeye call Kokanee. The
Kokanee never reach the size and weight of the ocean grown Sockeye.
Major spawning runs are found in the Fraser, Skeena, Nass, Stikine, Taku
and Alsek watersheds as well as those of the Smith and Rivers inlets.
Young sockeye may remain in their freshwater nursery lakes for a year or
more, with some waiting until the second or third year to make their
seaward journey. Once in salt water, BC sockeye move north and
north-westward along the coast. Their maturing years find them in a huge
area of the Pacific Ocean extending west to approximately the
International Date Line (2600 miles from the coast of Vancouver Island),
north to the northern Gulf of Alaska and south to the Oregon-California
~ The rich color and oil content of sockeye may be attributed to their
diet which includes a high percentage of shrimp and other crustaceans.
They also feed on small fish and squid.