Sockeye salmon is well-known for its strikingly red flesh and high protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids content. Grilled to perfection, this fish is a tasty treat for lunch or dinner. There are some interesting, lesser-known facts about sockeye salmon as well, including their reproductive idiosyncrasies, color changing abilities, and also the fact that in some areas of the country this fish is actually considered endangered, while in others it is the third most populous kind of salmon in the water.
Sockeye Salmon Are Anadromous Pacific Fish
In the Pacific Ocean the sockeye salmon shares the water with Chinook, Coho and also pink salmon. Since it is an anadromous species of fish, it spends its life in the saltwater of the ocean until it is time to spawn; during that time it will return to the freshwater streams where it hatched to repeat the cycle. This typically happens in July and August. It is noteworthy that these fish only spawn in streams that eventually lead to a lake.
Sockeye Salmon Change Colors During Migration
A typical sockeye salmon in the ocean waters is slightly turquoise and deep bluish in color, with more silvery hues on its belly portion. Once it begins swimming in the freshwaters of rivers and streams, however, it turns a bright red with a green head portion. There is no silvery bottom portion at this time. In the Adams River, British Columbia, the migration involves millions of sockeye salmon, and Canadians as well as tourists crowd viewing platforms along the river to watch the spectacle.
Sockeye Salmon Are Endangered in Some Areas
You might not think of a food fish as being endangered---according to the National Geographic, it ranks third among plentiful species of salmon populating the Pacific Ocean--but possible overfishing has caused the sockeye salmon to be virtually extinct in some areas. This pertains to areas of the Snake River, which flows through the states of Oregon, Idaho and Washington. In other areas, the fish may still be caught without significant restrictions.
Catch Sockeye Salmon With a Fly Rod
Use a fly that mimics a shrimp and capitalize on the migration of the salmon when seeking to catch one. Station yourself in a stream known to contain these animals during migration. Conversely, if you are fishing for juvenile sockeye salmon on their ways to the ocean, remember that they eat mostly plankton, insects that are native to the water line and small shrimp. With a fly, you should be able to lure the animal onto your line. Once juvenile sockeye salmon reach the ocean, they feed on squid and smaller fish.