Oncorhynchus kisutch (Walbaum, 1792)
member of the Salmon Family (Salmonidae)
In a Name?
Do They Live?
The coho salmon is an introduced exotic species. Like the chinook and pink salmon, coho salmon normally live in the Pacific Ocean and spawn in streams of eastern Russia and north western United States. In Minnesota, coho inhabit Lake Superior and some of its tributaries. In Minnesota waters of Lake Superior, coho are usually found in the upper portions of the water out to about 10 miles from the shore. Naturally reproduced coho begin and end their lives in streams of the North Shore and spend the years in between in the "big lake." Coho have been introduced into several inland lakes but generally have not done well there.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
While traveling from stream to lake the young coho usually eat copepods and waterfleas. Immature and adult coho eat mostly small fishes, especially smelt and small cisco, but also include opposum shrimp and terrestrial (land) insects.
Do They Reproduce?
The alevins (free-swimming embryos) hatch in the spring and remain in the gravel for several weeks while their fins develop. They swim up into the current, begin to feed, and shortly afterward migrate to Lake Superior.
Permission is granted for the non-commercial educational or scientific use of the text and images on this Web document. Please credit the author or authors listed below.
Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Nicole Paulson, Ted Halpern & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 23 October 2002