Sockeye & Pink Salmon

Sockeye salmon, also known as the red fish, red, or blue-black, are the most important commercial species. Sockeye have long gill rakes as they primary feed on plankton when in the ocean. They have the greatest life history diversity and can spend anywhere from 3 months to 3 years in freshwater.

They will spawn near shorelines, the bottom of lakes, or hundreds of miles upstream. Fry of this species rears almost exclusively in lakes.

While in the ocean they are greenish blue on top of the head and back, silvery on the sides, and white to silver on the belly.

During the spawning phase the head and caudal fin become bright green and the body turns scarlet. Land locked populations of this species are known as kokanee. These fish generally live 2-6 years, are about 21-26in in length, and weigh about 4-7lbs.

Pink salmon, are also known as humpies, due to the very large hump males get just behind the head, during the spawning phase. Although they are the smallest of the species, they are the most abundant in number.

They spend the least amount of time in freshwater, spawning in two year cycles very close to the mouth of streams with little to no upstream migration.

While in the ocean they appear to have steel blue to blue green backs, silver sides, and a white belly with large oval spots covering their back, adipose fin and both lobes of the caudal fin.

During the spawning phase pinks have dark backs with a pinkish wash and green blotches on their sides. These fish generally live for 2 years, are about 18-24in in length, and weigh about 3-5 lbs.

South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.

3 Comments on “Sockeye & Pink Salmon

    • Correct, we will present the next article with some other species, cheers.


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