The Life of Sockeye

How much do you know about the active life-cycle of a Wild Sockeye Salmon?

Sockeye Salmon

  • Sockeye salmon are born from eggs, which are located in freshwater lakes, covered in gravel. They hatch in the winter months. They then remain in the gravel and live off of their yolk sacs until early spring.
  • In the spring, they emerge as “fry” and spend 1 to 3 years in fresh water. At this stage in life, the salmon eat zooplankton, insects, and amphipods (small shrimp-like crustaceans).
  • Once the salmon reach the “smolt” stage, they begin to migrate downstream, into the ocean.
  • They typically spend 2-3 years at sea, preying on zooplankton, small fish, and occasionally squid.
  • Sockeye sexually mature around the age of 4-5 years, when they begin their journey back to fresh water, typically in the summer months.
  • Females select the spawning site and dig nests (called redds) with their tails.
  • After the females deposit their eggs, males fertilize the eggs. The females then cover the eggs with gravel.
  • Once the Sockeye spawn, their natural life comes to an end. Even after death, salmon carcasses are a vital part of a river’s ecosystem, contributing nitrogen and phosphorus compounds to streams.

View Full Article ⊳

Captain Tony Cleans and Prepares a Whole Sockeye Salmon to Cook

We recently stumbled upon this blast from the past to the time Captain Tony appeared on a local PBS station with his friend chef Lasse Sorensen of Tom’s Place in Carbondale. Tony shows us how to prepare and cut a Sockeye Salmon Fillet, and then prepares a quick recipe with asparagus and cherry tomatoes. This was filmed for the PBS TV show, In-Focus on March 29, 2009 by WSIU.

View Full Article ⊳