DID YOU KNOW: Coho Salmon can be identified by the large amounts of scales they lose when touched.

DESCRIPTION: The size of an adult coho may measure more than 2 feet in length and can weigh up to 35 pounds. However, the average weight of adult coho is 8 pounds.

LIFE CYCLE: Coho salmon adults migrate from a marine environment into freshwater streams and rivers of their birth in order to mate. They spawn only once and then die.

Adults return to their stream of origin to spawn and die, usually at around three years old. Some precocious males known as “jacks” return as two-year-old spawners. Spawning males develop a strongly hooked snout and large teeth. Females prepare several redds (nests) where the eggs will remain for 6-7 weeks until they hatch.

As the time for migration to the lake approaches, juvenile coho salmon lose their parr marks, a pattern of vertical bars and spots useful for camouflage, and gain the dark back and light belly coloration used by fish living in open water.

HABITAT AND ECOLOGY: Coho spend approximately the first half of their life cycle rearing and feeding in streams and small freshwater tributaries. Spawning habitat is small streams with stable gravel substrates. The remainder of the life cycle is spent foraging in estuarine and marine waters of the Lake Michigan.

State Record: 26 lbs 2oz

World Record: 33 lbs 4oz


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