Saturday, July 22, 2017

Salmon Spawning

Ketchikan Salmon Spawning

In shallow waters
On glistening gravels
Comes fulminating life


Starting out as small eggs in a stream bed, they hatch and begin their journey downstream towards the ocean. They spend a couple of years in the streams and rivers growing from small alevin to juvenile smolts. At the mouth of the streams and rivers, the smolts school together and ready themselves for the trip out into the ocean. During this time, their bodies change to adapt to the seawater. The young adult salmon then head out to sea and spend several years swimming in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. Once they have fully matured, they will swim back to their original stream or river where they re-adapt to the fresh water and swim back up the stream to reach their spawning grounds. Sometimes this means swimming up rugged rivers with miles of rapids and even waterfalls to leap. Once they get back to their natal stream, they breed and lay their eggs. After spawning they generally die within a week, fertilizing the stream and creating a nutrient-rich environment for the new infant salmon that are about to hatch. ~ Bernard

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