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Coho (Silver) Salmon - Oncorhynchus kisutch
Photo by NOAA

Coho salmon are a medium-sized salmon species that weigh from 6 to 12 pounds and can grow up to 38 inches in length. They have two dorsal fins and are metallic blue with silver sides and black spots on their back. They usually spend their first year living in fresh water and then move to the ocean where their growth increases dramatically. After they reach maturity, coho salmon are able to retrace their path to where they were born by using a smelling sensory organ in the cartilage of their nose. The spawning males develop a bright red line on their sides and their jaws become hooked.

Coho (Silver) Salmon
(Oncorhynchus kisutch)

Korea and Japan to Arctic Alaska and northern Baja California

Anadromous, in sea and coastal streams

Fish, squid, and insects


The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
Despite the fact that coho salmon are endangered in California, they makeup half of the recreational salmon catch of California each year.

Learn More
- University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources
- FishBase