Tuesday, December 12, 2017

All about salmon

Looking for salmon swimming upstream
Last Saturday it was cold enough for frosty streets, so our leader changed where we would have gone to a nice trek from Bellingham to Fairhaven and then on part of the Interurban trail. The trail crosses Chuckanut Creek and at this time of the year, it is possible to see adult salmon heading back to the place where they were born. One or two of my commenters made me realize that the life cycle of salmon is not well known, so here you go!

First of all, this link will give you plenty of details about the seven stages of the salmon's life cycle. But mostly, it's good to know that salmon are born in freshwater before heading to the sea, where they spend the majority of their lives. Salmon live for different numbers of years, depending on the species, and then they head back to the freshwater where they were born to spawn. Spawning is when they begin to make dramatic physical changes and begin the process again. From that link:
Interestingly, salmon in the spawner stage will migrate back to almost the same exact spot where they were born. Species like the Chum salmon will migrate up to 2000 miles to spawn! The distance they go depends on the species and the river. Upon reaching the gravel beds, the females will lay their eggs in the gravel while the males fertilize them with something called “milt.” This spawning “run” occurs during the summer months and provides the best fishing opportunities. 
We saw two adults resting in the water, still alive, but on their way out, having done what they set out to do: return to the spot where they were first born. I learned that these salmon are not good to eat (by humans, at least), but they provide nutrients for other creatures.

Living here in the Pacific Northwest, I've learned to appreciate the varying flavors of several different species of salmon, but my favorite is Sockeye, and I learned that they live the longest before returning home to spawn.
:-)

10 comments:

  1. Wild salmon is so tasty. I do not like the taste of farmed salmon which is so common here on the east coast.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And they make those incredible journeys without the benefit of satellite navigation too. Some sea-turtles make similar journeys and return to the beach they were hatched from to lay their eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Salmon make amazing migrations. Yes, I enjoy my salomon

    ReplyDelete
  4. Salmon are one of our Northwest treasures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like Sockeye too! Well in their near death state at least some wildlife will have food:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I always thought it kind of sad that they die so soon after spawning. But thinking how far they have to travel, guess it is best that they only do it once and don't have to do it every year. Had salmon for lunch today.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nature is just amazing! Big fan of nature shows over here, so I knew about the salmon. I think I need to go watch something else on my new Curiosity Stream channel... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. A friend of my father's would ship on ice NW salmon to us each year. We'd feast on their delicious taste. Pretty stream.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great interest story to this trout fisherman . And really impressed on the steep climb they have to make up the Chuckanut...:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. We see salmon in the rivers here too, but they're all part of a population stocked in the Great Lakes.

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.