Coho Salmon

Written by Jared Vincenti
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While it isn't much of a commercial fish, the Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) is a favorite fish of the sports fisherman. Also called the Silver Salmon, these fish are known for the silvery shine of their scales. Measuring two to three feet in length, they are the ideal size for an athletic angler.

The Coho's Life Cycle

Coho Salmon are unique in that they are able to adapt to almost any water body. Thus, they are well-represented in the ocean, as well as in most lakes and streams in Alaska. There are even some Coho Salmon all the way in Lake Michigan, and are adapting to life there after being transplanted by officials wanting to revitalize the Great Lakes' allure to sports fishers.

A unique characteristic of the Coho is that their run tends to follow the runs of other kinds of salmon. While the bulk of salmon make their trips upstream in the spring and summer, Coho fill the streams from July to November. By migrating at a different time, the Coho Salmon avoid the chaos that are Alaska rivers in springtime.

They are a thrilling fish for the fisherman, as they are scrappy fighters. They don't give up easily, and are famously acrobatic. The sight of a three foot Coho leaping out of the water, its silver body shining in the light, is as close to heaven as some fishermen will get in this life, and worth days of baiting and waiting.


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