Coho Salmon

From Ohio History Central

Beautiful coho salmons (Oncorhynchus kisutch) are identified by their silver sides that have a bluish tint. The back is darker with spots and there are also spots on the upper portion of the caudal fin. There are visible white gums in the lower jaw.

Coho are native to the Pacific Northwest. Coho salmon were introduced in Ohio around 1876. There were more introductions between 1930 and 1934. In 1933, 130,000 coho and chinook salmon were stocked in Lake Erie. Introductions resumed between 1968 and 1970. These last attempts appeared to be quite successful. Ohio's population is restricted to Lake Erie, from Conneaut to Toledo. They are also found in the lake's tributary streams, especially the Chagrin and Huron rivers.

Cohos live for three years. The salmon are anadromous. In the fall, Ohio cohos migrate to Lake Erie's tributary streams to spawn when water temperature are 45 - 50 F. Females produce 5,000 to 10,000 eggs. As soon as spawning is complete, the adults die. Coho salmons do not reproduce well in Ohio. Because of this, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources maintains a stocking program to help support salmon fishing in the state.

The record coho was taken from the Huron River in 1982 and weighed 13.63 pounds.

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