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Fish of KamchatkaPacific salmon

Pink salmon

Pink salmonThis is the most numerous representative of the genus. It is widespread in all Kamchatka rivers. Pink salmon is distinguished by a thin caudal peduncle, round black spots on the caudal fin and a small size – its normal weight is 1.5-2 kg. Maximum length is 76 cm, maximum weight is 5.5 kg. Males are bigger in size than females. Tiny specimens weighing up tо 350 g are sometimes met. Having entered fresh water, pink salmon quickly gains brown-white-green colors. Males develop long hooked jaws (especially the upper one) and a high flat hump. The age of life is 1.5 years; pink salmon returns to the rivers the nest year after young fish migration. However, the return of some three-year-old specimens was registered.
The run up the rivers is in July-August, massive spawning occurs in August –September. Males dominate in the running stock in the beginning of the run, females – in the end of the run. Salmon spawns on rifts with sand-pebble bottom and fast flow at the depth of 0.2 to 1 m. Each female lays roe into 2-3 redds. Hatching begins in late September and ends in January. Alevins stay in the redd until full absorption of the yolk sac (for about 80-120 days after hatching) and then begin migrating down the river. The migration period may last until early July. Having reached the sea, underyearlings stay for some time in the estuary and then move to the coastal waters, bays and gulfs and finally leave the coastal waters in October-November.
Pink salmon has less frank homing instinct; it may sometimes return to the spawning location of other species.
Asian and American pink salmons mix up in the sea during feeding and hibernating. Most of stocks living near eastern Kamchatka and in the west of the Bering Sea disseminate in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean between 40º north latitude and Aleut Isles. Western-Kamchatka pink salmon lives mainly in the water area adjacent to Hokkaido Island and the Kurils, but not farther than 170º of eastern longitude, while the eastern-Kamchatka pink salmon – between 160º of eastern longitude and 155º of western longitude.  Pink salmon of Olyutorsk-Karaga region migrates to the north through the channels between Aleut Isles and reaches the northern part of the Bering Sea. At the same time, other stocks migrating westwards and then northwards along Aleut and Komandor Isles are observed. Western-Kamchatka pink salmon migrates to the north and north-west reaching Eastern Kamchatka and then goes on to the south through the Forth Kuril Channel into the Sea of Okhotsk.