Donate Take Action

Join us


Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Coho Salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch

Like most other salmon, the coho salmon is a fast, streamlined predator with excellent eyesight for spotting its prey. This makes it a challenging game fish for anglers. When ready to breed, mature coho salmon find their way from the ocean back to the same river in which they were born. While swimming upstream, they develop bright red sides and a green head and back. When they reach the shallow waters at the river’s head, the female coho salmon dig a nest, which is called a redd, in the gravel of the riverbed and lay their sticky eggs while the male fertilizes them. After spawning, the adult coho salmon die and their bodies provide a feast for scavenging bears and other animals.

Coho Salmonzoom image
  • Order Salmoniformes
  • Length Up to 3 ft (1 m)
  • Weight Up to 33 lb (15 kg)
  • Depth 0–820 ft (0–250 m)
  • Distribution Temperate and cold waters of north Pacific and adjacent rivers
Coho Salmon Habitat Mapzoom image