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?
In some years, almost 100 individual bears use the 1.5 mile (2.4 km) long Brooks River. This river is one of the first places in the Katmai region where salmon are available to bears.