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Fish of Kamchatka' rivers

Pacific salmon

Includes six species widely spread in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. All species reproduces in rivers or lakes once in their life, and die after spawning. The young fish is drawn to the sea to spend there a few years. During the sea period of life, they migrate for long distances far into the ocean, but, as a rule, return to rivers where they hatched. All species except pink salmon and dog salmon develop freshwater forms never entering the sea. One should distinguish between reproductive forms and dwarf forms. The latter are mainly composed of males which make a part of the population of a migratory specimens but cannot reproduce without them. These forms take part in the run together with ordinary males and females. Landlocked forms have normal sex ratio; they form self-reproducing populations which can survive independently from migratory salmon. Landlocked salmon is smaller in size than migratory ones. All sea salmon species are alike; on entering freshwater they develop a spawning dress which makes them easy to distinguish. Males demonstrate more frank features than females: outgrown jaw bones, bigger teeth and silver tone instead of bright colors, a hump on the back. Females remain nearly the same in appearance, just the teeth become bigger, the color of the head and body becomes brighter. Having entered the freshwater, salmon stops feeding relying on its fat reserves. The fat accumulated by the fish during the sea period is enough to produce energy to move against the flow up to the spawning places, build a nest and lay eggs. Dead specimens decomposed by river microorganisms serve as food for the young fish. In general, there are six species in the north-eastern part of the Pacific Ocean: king salmon, silver salmon, dog salmon, pink salmon, sockeye salmon and sima, which are presented in Kamchatka waters in varying degrees.