Saltwater Fish - Coho Salmon

 

Coho Salmon

Oncorhynchus kisutch

AKA:  Silver salmon

Distinguishing Markings:

Smaller than Chinook.  Two dorsal fins including one adipose fin, inside of mouth black and gums between teeth gray, small spots on upper tail, 13-15 rays in anal fin.

 

Size: 

Commonly 4 to 10 pounds, but up to more than 20 pounds

 

Distribution:

Endemic to the Pacific Ocean and the rivers flowing into it Point Hope, Alaska south to Monterey Bay, California.  Transplanted into the Great Lakes and into freshwater lakes in Alaska and along the U.S. Pacific coast as well as into Maine, Maryland, and Louisiana in the east, Alberta in Canada, Argentina, and Chile.

 

Habitat:

Cohoes are anadromous, spending part of their life in fresh water and part in saltwater

 

Food Preference:

Baitfish, squid

 

Spawning:

Adult salmon return to their native streams to spawn and always die after completing their spawning runs.  Coho spawning runs up tributary rivers occur from early September to early October.  Females excavate a nest in a tributary stream’s gravel bed.  Both adults die soon after spawning. The next spring the eggs hatch and the young remain in the gravel for 2-3 weeks.  When they emerge (March to July), some migrate downriver almost immediately.  Most, however, wait a year or longer before seeking deeper waters.

 

Fishing Tips:

Relative abundance and unpredictable fighting style make them a favorite.  Use the same baits, lures and techniques that take chinook, but silvers are usually found near the surface, in the top 30 feet of water.  Fish them in freshwater when the adults return to home streams to spawn.  Use flashy spinners, wobbling spoons, diving plugs and fresh roe sacks.

 

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