A predictable eruption occurs at Katmai National Park and Preserve annually as salmon burst from the northern Pacific Ocean and into park waters. Sockeye (also known as red) salmon return from the ocean, where they have spent two or three years. Navigating first across the open ocean, and then up rivers, lakes, and streams, they return to the headwater gravel beds of their birth to deposit their own young before dying. Their size, averaging 5 to 7 pounds, varies proportionally to how long they spend feeding at sea.
For a draft list of fish species found in Katmai, Alagnak, Aniakchak, and other southwest Alaska parklands click here. Information about sockeye salmon can be found in these frequently asked questions.
Did You Know?
Scientists can tell the age of a fish by looking at its ear bone, called the otolith. Growth rings related to water temperature can be seen in the otolith and counted to give age.