Sockeye salmon
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Sockeye salmon, Oncorhyncus nerka

The sockeye have the most complex life cycles of the salmon tribe, spending from a few months to three years in freshwater and from one to four years in the sea, depending on the combinations of lakes and rivers in their home watersheds. These voyagers also are known as reds because of their bright scarlet coloring after they enter freshwater. They range in the Pacific from Washington to the Aleutians, with a few runs returning to streams on the Asian mainland. Sockeye weigh from two to nine pounds as adults and most are landed by commercial gillnet and seine fleets in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and shipped fresh or frozen to market. The arrivals of popular runs, such as those to the Copper River, are celebrated by commerical and sport fishermen alike.

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