Fish as seen in saltwater.

The Acrobats

Highly adaptable, Coho can be found in rivers and streams across North America. They generally weigh from 8 to 12 lbs and run from 18 to 24 inches in length.

Coho are incredible challenges for sportfishers, they're hard to catch, leaping up but also sideways. They're known for a 'smash and run' pattern when they bite, and the angler should be prepared to dart from one side of the boat to the other to keep up. Like Chinook, Coho are highly prized by sportfishers. And like Chinook, they are much more carnivorous than other Pacific salmon, with shrimp a favourite feast.

Nicknames

Silver salmon, Sea trout, Blueback.

Spotting a Coho

Coho, especially large ones, and especially during spawning, can look a lot like Chinook. But in the ocean, they can be easily identified by their dark blue backs. When spawning, a Coho's snout becomes blunt and deeply hooked. Male Cohos' lower mouths get so swollen during spawning that they can't close them!

Habits and Habitat

Coho spend at least one winter in freshwater before moving out to the ocean. They then spend about 18 months of their adult lives there before returning at the age of three or four to their natal rivers and streams, which are often slow-moving waters. Late fall is the peak of Coho spawning.

Other Facts About Coho:

  • Coho are excellent table fare; their high levels of fat make them delicious. Only Chinook and Sockeye are fattier.
  • One reason they taste so good is because of their own eating: they're known for being greedy and gluttonous as young adults, and they grow very quickly as a result.