North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission

Technical Report 18

Table of Contents

Ocean Ecology of Coho Salmon in the Gulf of Alaska in the Winter

Richard Beamish, Chrys Neville and Vladimir Radchenko

Abstract Excerpt:
Winter surveys to the Gulf of Alaska in 2019 and 2020 examined the winter ecology of Pacific salmon, a season and location about which little is known. Coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch were mostly found in the southern areas of the Gulf of Alaska south of 52°N where they appear to be in deeper water during the day. They were the second most abundant species of Pacific salmon indicating that most populations move off the shelf to spend the winter in the offshore areas covered by the surveys. Coho salmon from the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound remained closer to shore off the west coast of British Columbia. These results indicate that large aggregations of mixed populations that are not associated with other species of Pacific salmon may form in the winter. The large schools may be associated with finding prey to maintain metabolic requirements as growth during the winter was minimal. The period of rapid growth started about late March to early April and may be associated with the appearance of large abundances of squid.



Beamish, R., C. Neville, and V. Radchenko.  2022.  Ocean ecology of coho salmon in the Gulf of Alaska in the winter.  N. Pac. Anadr. Fish Comm. Tech. Rep. 18: 98–105.