Salmon Fishing - Larsen Bay Lodge
Salmon Fishing
Other Interesting Salmon Facts:
Did You Know?
A 2 lb. salmon and a 40 lb. salmon have exactly the same number of scales!
What's the difference between a Pacific Salmon and an Atlantic Salmon?
Most Pacific salmon are anadromous: they are born in fresh water, spend their adult lives in the saltwater oceans and return to their natal rivers, or lakes, to spawn. They are also semelparous, dying after they spawn. Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, are anadromous but may spawn more than once.
What is the record for oldest age of salmon and steelhead?Chinook: 7 yrs.
Sockeye 7 yrs.
Coho 4 yrs.
Chum 6 yrs.
Pink 2 yrs.
Steelhead 8 yrs.
Is a steelhead a trout or a salmon?
A steelhead is a rainbow trout that migrates to sea as a juvenile and returns to fresh water as an adult to spawn. The steelhead does not always die following spawning and may spawn more than once and return to the sea after each spawning.
Why do Pacific salmon die after they spawn?
Dying salmon increase the survival rate of their offspring by sacrificing themselves as food for bears, eagles, gulls. Their carcasses sink, wash up on shore, and provide an important protein source for other animals in the food chain. As they decompose they also fertilize lakes and vegetation along shore. Meanwhile the predators are busy with bigger fish allowing the salmon eggs to develop and return to the sea.
How many species of Pacific salmon are there?
There are seven species of Pacific salmon, plus two freshwater species. Five species are found in Alaskan waters:
  • Sockeye (oncorhynchus nerka)
  • Pink (oncorhynchus gorbuscha)
  • Chum (oncorhynchus keta)
  • Coho (oncorhynchus kisutch)
  • Chinook (oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
Two species of Pacific salmon, masu, Omasou, and amago, O. rhodurus, are only found in Asian waters.

What are the stages of a salmon's life cycle?
There are six stages of a salmon's life cycle: eggs, alevin, fry, smolt, adult, and spawners.

The salmon life cycle begins, and ends, as the spawning process in fresh water. The female chooses a site and builds a redd, or nest, by digging in the gravel with her tail. She then deposits her eggs, one, or more males then fertilize the eggs. She then covers the eggs and repeats the process. Adult salmon guard the site until their death.

In late winter, eggs hatch from the redds. Young alevin in the gravel live off the nutritious yolk sac that hangs off their undersides for up to four months. Then they swim up from the gravel to start feeding on live prey. Some species head straight to the ocean as fry, while others remain in the stream for another year.

Next, the smolt stage occurs. The juvenile salmon swim downstream and undergo major physiological changes (smolting) while adapting to salt water in estuaries, where freshwater rivers meet the saltwater seas.

Once in the ocean, they travel in schools. After one to seven years, depending on the type of salmon, they return to their home rivers to spawn in the same stream they were born in.

How many salmon survive to spawn?
Less than 2% of salmon hatched in streams will return to spawn. For example, of 2500 hatched eggs, less than 375 live to be fry. Of those, less than 30 survive to be smolts. An average of 5 reach adult stage and 2 return to spawn.
Larsen Bay Lodge
PO Box 92
Larsen Bay, AK 99624
800-748-2238 or 907-847-2238