Other names: Red Salmon, Blueback Salmon
Sockeye salmon differ from most other species of Pacific salmon, trout, and char by their complete lack of spots. Ocean fish are silver on the sides with a rich blue to blue green coloration on the dorsal surface. Spawning sockeye males and females develop bright red bodies and green heads. Adult fish range from 4-8 pounds in weight and are 18-24 inches long. Male spawning sockeyes develop humped backs like pink salmon. Ocean caught sockeye salmon can often be confused with chum salmon which they closely resemble. Chum salmon have a narrow caudal peduncle (base of the tail) and 19-26 short stout gill rakers on the first (forward-most) gill arch while sockeye salmon have 29-40 long, slender, close-set gill rakers. Sockeye eat smaller prey which accounts for the longer, more closely spaced gill rakers.