Sockeye salmon

The Latin name for Sockeye salmon is Oncorhynchus nerka. Nerka is the Russian name for the anadromous form.

They live in brackish freshwater and you can find them at a depth of up to 250 meters. They prefer temperatures between 0 ° C – 25 ° C.

The maximum length of a male is 84 cm. The females’ maximum length is measured at 71 cm. They are usually about 45-58 cm with the males closer to the higher number and the females are generally smaller. They can weigh up to 7.7 kg and the oldest Sockeye salmon that has been registered has reached the age of 8 years. Sockeye salmon belong to the family Salmonidae.

Sockeye salmon are an anadromous species, they live in saltwater but reproduce in freshwater. Sockeye Salmon is the sea-migrating form while the stationary freshwater form goes by the name “Kokanee”. In North America, it is one of the species that is caught and eaten in large numbers by grizzly bears during the hike up to the spawning grounds. Sockeye salmon that live in freshwater live mainly on smaller invertebrates and switch to eating other smaller fish only after a while in the sea. The spawning takes place during the autumn in running water. A female can lay up to 5,000 eggs that hatch in the spring. The females are usually the ones who build nests for the eggs. The fish die shortly after spawning. Sockeye salmon has a silvery body with a bluish back. During the breeding season, the body turns red and the head turns green, which should help attract other fish. The male develops a hump in front of the dorsal fin before the spawning and the jaws grow and bend so that the mouth cannot be closed completely. The females also become red, but in darker tones.

Sockeye salmon fish’s natural habitats are threatened due to climate change and litter, but they are nevertheless not one of the most vulnerable fish species.

The body is coil-shaped and is slightly compressed from the sides. The fish’s head is relatively short but elongated. The nose is short and rounded with a mouth that is directed forward. The teeth are slightly curved and sharp and are found on all jawbones in the fish’s mouth. As the fish grows and ages, the upper jaw changes slightly and extends further and further behind the eye.

The dorsal fin is short with a straight outer edge. Far behind the back, above the end of the anal fin, is a rounded fat fin. The base of the fat fin is relatively narrow with a backward-facing free lobe. The anal fin is short and wide. The pectoral fins are placed low and are relatively short. The abdominal fins are even shorter. In younger and smaller fishes, the tail fin is incised with rounded lobes. The larger the fish, the straighter the tail fin becomes and gets pointed corners. The fins lack color but the dorsal fin may have some black dots.