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WHERE ARE THE SALMON, WHEN?
GENERALIZED LIFE HISTORY PATTERNS OF SALMON, STEELHEAD, AND TROUT IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST*

              ADULTS RETURN   SPAWNING       EGGS IN    YOUNG IN    FRESHWATER    YOUNG MIGRATE   TIME IN   TIME IN    ADULT   
              TO STREAMS      LOCATION       GRAVEL**   STREAM      HABITAT       DOWNSTREAM      ESTUARY   OCEAN      WEIGHT  
              FROM OCEAN                                                                                               (avg)   


COHO          Oct-Jan         coastal        Oct-May     1+ years   tributaries,  Mar-Jul         few days  2 years    5-20 lb 
                              streams,                              main stem     (2nd year)      to one               (8)     
                              shallow                               side                          month                        
                              tributaries                           channels,                                                  
                                                                    and slack                                                  
                                                                    water                                                      


CHUM          Sep-Jan         coastal        Sep-Mar     days-weeks little time   shortly after   7-14      2.5-3      8-12 lb 
                              rivers and                            spent in      young leave     days      years      (10)    
                              streams,                              freshwater    gravel                                       
                              lower reaches                                                                                    


CHINOOK                       main                                  main                          days-mont 2-5 years          
                              stem--large                           stem--large                   hs                           
                              and small                             and small                                                  
                              rivers                                rivers                                                     
Spring run    Jan-July                       Jul-Jan     1+ year                  Mar-Jul (2nd                         10-20 lb
                                                                                  year)                                (15)    
Summer run    Jun-mid Aug                    Sep-Nov     1+ year                  Spring (2nd                          10-30 lb
                                                                                  year)                                (14)    
Fall run      Aug-Mar                        Sep-Mar     3-7                      Apr-Jun (2nd                         15-40 lb
                                                         months                   year)                                        


CUTTHROAT     Jul-Dec         tiny           Dec-Jul     1-3 years  tributaries   Mar-Jun         less      0.5-1      0.5-4 lb
(Coastal-Sea                  tributaries                (2 avg)                  (of 2nd-4th     than a    year       (1)     
Run)                          of coastal                                          yr)             month                        
                              streams                                                                                          


PINK          Jul-Oct         main stem of   Aug-Jan     days-weeks little time   Dec-May         few days  1.5 years  3-10 lb 
                              streams,                              spent in                                           (4)     
                              tributaries,                          freshwater                                                 
                              and lower                                                                                        
                              reaches                                                                                          


SOCKEYE       Jul-Aug         streams,       Aug-Apr     1-3 years  lakes         Apr-Jun         few days  1-4 years  3-8 lb  
                              usually near                                        (of 2nd-4th                          (6)     
                              lakes                                               yr)                                          


STEELHEAD***                  tributaries                           tributaries                   less      1-4 years          
                              and small                                                           than a                       
                              streams and                                                         month                        
                              rivers                                                                                           
Winter run    Nov-Jun                        Feb-Jul     1-3 years                Mar-Jun                              5-28 lb 
                                                                                  (of 2nd-5th yr)                      (8)     
Spring run    Feb-Jun                        Dec-May     1-2 years                Spring & Summer                      5-20 lb 
                                                                                  (of 3rd-4th yr)
Summer run    Jun-Oct (Columbia)             Feb-Jun     1-2 years                Mar-Jun (of 3rd-5th yr)              5-30 lb
              Apr-Nov (coastal)              Feb-Jul     1-3 years                Mar-Jun (of 2nd-5th yr)              (8)


*There is much variation in life history patterns--each stream system having fish with their own unique timing and patterns of spawning, growth, and migration.
Ask a local biologist about the specific patterns of the fish in your streams and update this chart for your area.
**The eggs of most salmonids take 2-4 months to hatch depending on water temperature.
***Steelhead and cutthroat trout, unlike salmon, may not die after spawning. They can migrate back out to sea and return in later years to spawn again.

Adapted by Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Sources: Ocean Ecology of North Pacific Salmonids,
Bill Pearcy, University of Washington Press, 1992 Fisheries Handbook of Engineering Requirements and Biological Criteria,
Milo Bell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1986; Adopting A Stream; A Northwest Handbook, Steve Yates, Adopt-A Stream Foundation, 1988.


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Revised 3/10/97