Pacific Ocean

Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), also known as Red Salmon, Blueback Salmon, Redfish, Summer Sockeye; weight – 1.8 to 6.8 kg (4 to 15 lb); length – .4 to .7 m (1.5 to 2.5 ft); lifespan – can live up to 4-5 years. Sockeye is one of the smaller species of Pacific Salmon. Most Sockeye Salmon are anadromous – they hatch in freshwater streams and rivers or lakes and generally rear in freshwater lakes for 1 to 3 years, after which they reach the smolt stage and migrate to the ocean to feed and grow. While in fresh water, juvenile Sockeye Salmon feed mainly on zooplankton (tiny floating animals), amphipods (small, shrimp-like crustaceans), and insects. In the ocean, Sockeye Salmon continue to feed on zooplankton but also eat larval and small adult fishes and occasionally squid. Image courtesy of NOAA.