Some facts about salmon spawning season
Salmon is an extremely popular commercial and sport fish. They are strong fighters; Some species can grow up to 50 pounds or more. And bears aren’t the only creatures who like salmon fillets. To increase the chances of catching them, we need to answer the question of when does salmon spawn. The spawning season for salmon varies depending on the region and species of salmon.
For example, the timing of spawning chinook salmon and spawning king salmon is the same, since these two names happen to apply to the same fish, the species Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. The spawning behavior of salmon in this fish, which is native to the Pacific coast but is introduced elsewhere, occurs mainly in spring and autumn.
Another Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) native to the Pacific coast has also been introduced into the Great Lakes. According to the Michigan DNR, Coho, which weighs an average of about 5 pounds, can be caught “anytime” in Lake Michigan, but Coho salmon spawning activity occurs from September through November.
When do other salmon spawn? Sockeye salmon spawn in Alaska in June and July, while Kokanee, the inland version of bobcat, spawns in the fall. Buddy salmon can spawn as early as March or “late summer,” but when the water flows are high, the highest concentrations are usually early winter. Pink salmon spawn from August to October.
With the salmon life cycle, Pacific salmon species die off after spawning, while Atlantic salmon can survive for another salmon spawning season. The tiny fish hatch and usually stay in the river for a year before migrating to the ocean or to a large lake if they are transplanted. Buddy and pink salmon fry, however, release fresh water soon after hatching. Most salmon stay in the sea or in large lakes until they mature after about 2 or 3 years. Then their colors change as they go upriver to spawn and continue the cycle.
All creatures in the region learn and soon take advantage of the salmon spawning season in the streams and rivers. Oddly enough, salmon are reported not to eat once they have entered freshwater streams to spawn. However, due to the high concentration, many salmon still hit various baits such as flies, spinners, spoons and stoppers, possibly out of instinct.