Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

Wednesday’s Photos

The Red Fish are Coming

Every fall around this time of the year, the land-locked salmon enter our creeks and fight the current in search of their annual spawning grounds. They turn bright red as they complete their life cycle, spawn new life and die. This event puts eagles, ravens, and gulls on high alert because it is the time to fatten up for the long winter months. My wife and I witnessed the gulls in their feeding frenzy. Today’s post is a small visual report of the red fish’s life cycle. Enjoy.

14 Replies to “Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes”

  1. Despite seeing videos and reading about the salmon’s journey to their breeding grounds, I’ve never known that they turned such a vibrant red. It’s a commonplace that birds brighten up when it’s time to mate, but who knew that fish could/would do the same thing?

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  2. Several people have commented about the redness of these salmon. An online article notes:

    “Wild salmon get their ruddy shade by eating krill and shrimp, which contain a reddish-orange compound called astaxanthin. (That shrimp-heavy diet is also what turns flamingos pink.) The spectrum varies with the species: Since Alaska’s sockeye salmon are closer to the Bering Sea’s teeming krill, they’re the reddest of all. Salmon further south—Coho, king, and pink, for instance—eat relatively less krill and shrimp, giving them a lighter orange hue.”

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  3. I have seen many Nat Geo docus on this cycle, many with bears and other large animals feeding on them, but never one which had them this colour. One can only marvel at the variety and creativity in nature.

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