Coho Salmon aka Silver Salmon

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Game Fish Species of British Columbia

Coho Salmon
Coho Salmon

Oncorhynchus kisutch or Coho, Silver Salmon, Sea Trout, Blueback

DESCRIPTION - Coho Salmon are usually 18-24 inches in length and 8-12 pounds in weight. The head is conical with a snout bluntly pointed but greatly extended, thickened and turned down in breeding males. These breeding males are characterized by their inability to close their mouths. All have sharp teeth on both jaws. Adults in the ocean are colored a steel-blue to slightly green with silver sides, white bellies and small black spots on the back. The coloring is less spectacular in fresh water specimens.

DISTRIBUTION -The coho salmon occurs naturally only in the Pacific Ocean and its tributary drainage. It can also be found in some fresh water areas including the Great Lakes.

BIOLOGY - After spending up to 18 months at sea these 3-5 year old adults migrate late in the season and over a prolonged period. Often they school at the mouths of rivers and move up when fall rains increase rives flow. Generally a coho salmon will not travel more than 150 miles up river from the sea or lake. Spawning takes place anywhere between October and January. After the female prepares the redd she will lay 2100-2789 eggs guarding them until she dies a few days later. The fry emerge from early March to late July and although some will migrate almost immediately, most remain at least one year in fresh water lakes or streams.

RELATION TO MAN - The coho salmon has always been considered important by commercial and sport fishermen in British Columbia. The best catches are made from July to September with a peak in August. Fly fisherman take cohos at stream mouths using bucktail flies and anglers using frozen or pickled herring have plenty of luck. In fact on the average B.C. anglers catch 110 000 grilse per year. Coho salmon can be canned, mild cured, smoked or if troll caught, sold fresh or fresh-frozen.

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Coho Salmon aka Silver Salmon