Oncorhynchus nerka

  • Scientific name
  • Oncorhynchus nerka (Walbaum, 1792)

  • Common name
  • Sockeye

  • Family
  • Salmonidae

  • External links
  • Fishbase
Trait completeness 78%
Total data147
References34
Image of Oncorhynchus nerka

Author: Fabrice Téletchéa
License: All rights reserved

Traits detail



Egg (100%)


Trait id Trait Primary data Secondary Data References
4 Egg adhesiveness The eggs of Salmonidae are buried in unguarded nests called 'redds' and are demersal-nonadheive Non-Adhesive Kunz, 2004
4 Egg adhesiveness Salmonidae, whose eggs are not sticky Non-Adhesive Woynarovich, 1962
5 Incubation time 42-63 [Take 6 to 9 weeks in most areas but may require as long as 5 months] 52.5 days Fishbase, 2006
5 Incubation time 120-124 [5°C], 74-77 [9°C], 51-54 [12.2] 122.0 days Hendry, 1998
5 Incubation time 6-20 weeks at 59-39°F 13.0 days Goodyear, 1982
5 Incubation time 122.8 [5°C], 90.5 [7.5°C], 69.3 [10°C] and 55.4 [12.5°C] for 50% hatch 122.8 days Jensen, 1997
5 Incubation time 94.0 [Mean time to egg hatch within the range of average post-spawning the range post-spawning water temperatures] 94.0 days Olden, 2006
5 Incubation time 155 [3°C], 100 [6°C], 70 [10°C], 60 [12°C] 155.0 days Beacham and Murray, 1990
5 Incubation time 47 [14°C], 51.8 [11°C], 76.9 [8°C], 119.5 [5°C], 206.4 [2°C] 47.0 days Murray and McPhail, 1988
5 Incubation time Egg development from fertilization to 50% hatch at various constant temperatures: 177 days [At 3.2°C], 113.8 days [At 6°C], 80 days [At 8°C], 63 days [At 10°C], 44.6 days [At 15°C] 50.0 days Velsen,1987
7 Degree-days for incubation 560-720 [140 days at 4°C, 48 at 15°C] 640.0 °C * day Scott and Crossman, 1973
7 Degree-days for incubation [120-124 at 5°C, 74-77 at 9°C, 51-54 at 12.2] 122.0 °C * day Hendry, 1998
7 Degree-days for incubation 630-640 635.0 °C * day Parensky, 2002
7 Degree-days for incubation 613.8-693.2 [5-12.5] 653.5 °C * day Jensen, 1997
7 Degree-days for incubation 670 670.0 °C * day Bascinar and Okumus, 2004
7 Degree-days for incubation 465 [3°C], 600 [6°C], 700 [10°C], 720 [12°C] 465.0 °C * day Beacham and Murray, 1990
7 Degree-days for incubation 769 [Effective day-degrees] 769.0 °C * day Kamler, 2002
6 Temperature for incubation 7-12 9.5 °C Barton, 1996
6 Temperature for incubation 6-10 [Range with egg mortality minimal, high mortality if water above 14°C or near 0°C] 8.0 °C Markevich and Bilenskaya, 1992
6 Temperature for incubation 4-13 8.5 °C Scott and Crossman, 1973
6 Temperature for incubation 6.0-6.8 in the wild, and 5-12.5 in reared conditions, even if survival was higher at 5-9 than at 12°C 6.4 °C Hendry, 1998
6 Temperature for incubation 2.5-3.5°C in the ground at the level of the lower horizon of a redd and 5-7°C in the upper layer of a redd 3.0 °C Parensky, 2002
6 Temperature for incubation 5-12.5 8.75 °C Jensen, 1997
6 Temperature for incubation Optimum temperature of yolk conversion is about 8°C 8.0 °C Beacham and Murray, 1993
6 Temperature for incubation Lower limit: 4.4-5.8°C and upper limit 12.7-14.1°C [The lower temperature for the normal devlopment was established between 40 and 42.5°F. The upper threshold temperature occured between 55 and 57.5°F] 5.1 °C Combs, 1965
6 Temperature for incubation Egg mortality during incubation from fertilization to 50% hatch at various temperatures: 37.3% [At 3.0°C], 28.0% [At 6°C], 18.6% [At 10°C], 83.0% [At 16.9°C] 10.0 °C Velsen,1987
2 Egg size after water-hardening Means range from 5.46 to 6.61 for three different populations [Not specified if fertilized] 5.46 mm Bagenal, 1971
2 Egg size after water-hardening 5.0 [Kokanee] and 5.0-5.6 [Sockeye] for water-hardened egg 5.3 mm Kaeriyama, 1995
3 Egg Buoyancy Demersal [The female prepares a nest] Demersal Scott and Crossman, 1973
3 Egg Buoyancy The eggs of Salmonidae are buried in unguarded nests called 'redds' and are demersal-nonadheive No category Kunz, 2004
1 Oocyte diameter 4.5-5 4.75 mm Mellinger, 2002
1 Oocyte diameter 4.5-5.0 4.75 mm Barton, 1996
1 Oocyte diameter 5.3-6.6 5.95 mm Groot, 1996
1 Oocyte diameter 4.5-5.0 4.75 mm Scott and Crossman, 1973
1 Oocyte diameter 4.5-5 4.75 mm Fishbase, 2006
1 Oocyte diameter 4.8 [Mean diameter of mature, fully yolked, ovarian oocyte] 4.8 mm Olden, 2006

Larvae (71%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
11 Temperature during larval development 6-10 in natural condition 8.0 °C Hendry, 1998
11 Temperature during larval development 15 15.0 °C Keckeis and Schiemer, 1992
10 Reaction to light The free-embryos of the gravel spawning Oncorhynchus are negatively phototactic in the beginning and hide in the interstitial. After the onset of exogeneous feeding, the young fish become positively phototactic and emerge from the substrate Photophobic Bohlen, 2000
13 Full yolk-sac resorption 300-360 [Hatching to emergence: 53-60 days (5.0°C), 36-40 (9°C), 24-25 (12.5°C] 330.0 °C * day Hendry, 1998
13 Full yolk-sac resorption 330 [Swim-up from fertilization: 1000 degree-days, from hatching 1000 less 670] 330.0 °C * day Bascinar and Okumus, 2004
13 Full yolk-sac resorption Emergence at 285 [3°C], 420 [6°C], 500 [10°C], and 480 [12°C] at an average size of 26.5, range 25-28.5 26.75 °C * day Beacham and Murray, 1990
13 Full yolk-sac resorption 50% emergence at: 25 [14°C], 38.5 [11.1°C], 43.6 [6.9°C], 53.5 [5°C], 75.8 [2°C], Mean SL vary at 50% emergence vary with temperature: 20.7 [14°C], 22.9 [11°C], 24.4 [8°C], 23.4 [5°C] and 23.6 [2°C] 50.0 °C * day Murray and McPhail, 1988
8 Initial larval size 20.3 20.3 mm Olden, 2006
8 Initial larval size Average 19.5, range 18.5-20.5 19.5 mm Beacham and Murray, 1990
8 Initial larval size 24-28 [Newly emergent fry] 26.0 mm Hendry, 1998
8 Initial larval size Mean SL vary at 50% hatching vary with temperature: 15.1 [14°C], 16.1 [11°C], 17.1 [8°C], 17.2 [5°C], 17.8 [2°C] 15.1 mm Murray and McPhail, 1988
9 Larvae behaviour Alevins stay in the gravel for varying amounts of time after hatching and then ermge as fry from the gravel at night. Fry migration generally peas before midnight with sometimes a small peak before dawn Demersal Groot, 1996
9 Larvae behaviour Remain in the gravel until some weeks or months after the yolk is absorbed, and emerge in April to June Demersal Scott and Crossman, 1973
9 Larvae behaviour Remain in the gravel Demersal Hendry, 1998
9 Larvae behaviour Emerge from redd in early January-May Demersal Goodyear, 1982
9 Larvae behaviour Swim-up from fertilization: 1000 degree-days [From hatching 1000 less 670] Pelagic Bascinar and Okumus, 2004

Female (58%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
24 Maximum GSI value Average of 16.8 [Kokanee] and 17.4-17.6 [Sockeye] 17.5 percent Kaeriyama, 1995
24 Maximum GSI value Mean of 17.8 for anadromous populations, and 12 (11.4-12.8) for resident population 12.1 percent Fleming, 1998
19 Relative fecundity Absolute fecundity averages range from 1988 to 1994: 316 [Weight 111 g], 330 [Weight 168 g], 401 [Weight 202 g], 454 [Weight 174 g], 412 [159 g], 435 [176 g] and 666 [280 g] 1988.0 thousand eggs/kg Kaeriyama, 1995
27 Age at sexual maturity 4.0 [Both sex] 4.0 years Olden, 2006
27 Age at sexual maturity Overall age of maturity in sockeye salmon ranges from 3 to 8 years. Males are capable of maturing at any of 22 different combinations of freshwater and ocean ages. Kokanee generally mature after either 2, 3 or 4 years 3.0 years Gustafson, 1997
21 Oocyte development Synchronous ovarian organization, determinate fecundity Synchronous Fishbase, 2006
20 Absolute fecundity 2.2-2.4 [Average for sockeye], 5 [high in Kamchatka], 0.3-2 [low in small kokanee females] 2.3 thousand eggs Groot, 1996
20 Absolute fecundity 3.7 3.7 thousand eggs Barton, 1996
20 Absolute fecundity Mean of 0.45, 0.368-1.764 1.066 thousand eggs Scott and Crossman, 1973
20 Absolute fecundity 3.2-3.9 3.55 thousand eggs Yegorova, 1978
20 Absolute fecundity 2-5.2 [Average fecundity accross the range of sockeye salmon is from 2-5.2, and from 0.3 to 2 for Kokanee] 3.6 thousand eggs Gustafson, 1997
20 Absolute fecundity 3.57-3.63 3.6 thousand eggs Beacham and Murray, 1993
20 Absolute fecundity Average of 0.43 [Kokanee] and 1.875-2.477 [Sockeye] 2.176 thousand eggs Kaeriyama, 1995
17 Weight at sexual maturity 1.5-2 [Southern areas] and 2.5-3 [Nothern areas] 1.75 kg Groot, 1996
17 Weight at sexual maturity 1.90-2.38 [Weight of female at the beginning and at the end of the running migration] 2.14 kg Yegorova, 1978
16 Length at sexual maturity 45-61 53.0 cm Barton, 1996
16 Length at sexual maturity 53.3-55.9 [Length of female at the beginning and at the end of the running migration] 54.6 cm Yegorova, 1978
16 Length at sexual maturity 18.0 [Both sex] 18.0 cm Olden, 2006
16 Length at sexual maturity Average of 24.9 [Kokanee] and 41.0-49.8 [Sockeye] 45.4 cm Kaeriyama, 1995
15 Age at sexual maturity 4-5 4.5 year Barton, 1996
15 Age at sexual maturity 4 [Both sex] 4.0 year Olden, 2006
15 Age at sexual maturity Overall age of maturity in sockeye salmon ranges from 3 to 8 years, female may mature at any 14 different age compositions. Kokanee generally mature after either 2, 3 or 4 years 3.0 year Gustafson, 1997

Male (56%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
30 Male sexual dimorphism Hump size in sockeyes differ greatly among populations. Male mating success within some sockeye populations is positively correlated with hump size[In Salmo, most Salvelinus, and most Oncorhynchus, a major sexual difference is found in the development, in normal breeding individuals, of elongated, hooked jaws with enlarged teeth.An upturned lower jaw is technically called a kype, an enlarged and often distorted upper jaw is termed a snout.Kype and sount development differs not only among individuals but also among species and conspecific populations: it is generally greater in stream-dwelling and anadromous forms than in lake-spawning or strickly freshwater forms.Kypes andsnouts are best developed in males, although females of some species also develop smaller ones. Another secondarytrait is a hump anterior to dorsal fin, found especially in males.] Present Willson, 1997
30 Male sexual dimorphism Males are bigger for both resident and anadromous populations Absent Fleming, 1998
33 Maximum GSI value Mean of 3.0 (range 2.1-3.4%) for anadromous populations, and Mean of 2.7 (range 2.6-2.8) for resident populations 2.75 percent Fleming, 1998
28 Length at sexual maturity 57.5-59.9 [Length of female at the beginning and at the end of the running migration] 58.7 cm Yegorova, 1978
28 Length at sexual maturity 18.0 [Both sex] 18.0 cm Olden, 2006
29 Weight at sexual maturity 2.58-2.80 [Weight of female at the beginning and at the end of the running migration] 2.69 kg Yegorova, 1978

Spawning conditions (100%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
47 Mating system One couple defending a territory, salmon pairs tend to stay together for the total spawning period of about 7-9 d until the female has laid all the eggs No category Groot, 1996
47 Mating system The female may dig and and spawn in more than one nest, with different males, and a single male may spawn with more than one female No category Scott and Crossman, 1973
47 Mating system By pair, a female may spawn with several dominant males, a male may breed with different females Monogamy Fishbase, 2006
47 Mating system By pair Monogamy Parensky, 2002
46 Nycthemeral period of oviposition Actual spawning occur after darkness until about midnight Night Groot, 1996
50 Parental care When the female is spent, she contines to finish the redd and defends the area aginast females searching for nest sites and males that are passing by until she die No category Groot, 1996
50 Parental care Postspawning females of Pacific salmon also commonly guard their nests for several days (up to 3 weeks by coho) before they die. Female parental care Willson, 1997
50 Parental care The female defends the nests from other females until her death days to weeks later. Male pacific salmon take no part in parental care. Rather they remain sexually active throughout their breeding life span and move amongst breeding females Ambiguous Hamon, 1999
50 Parental care Nest defence after No category Fleming, 1998
44 Spawning substrate Gravel beds Lithophils Scott and Crossman, 1973
44 Spawning substrate Generally gravel Lithophils Fishbase, 2006
44 Spawning substrate Lithophils Lithophils Balon, 1975
44 Spawning substrate Fine gravel, alson in sand along lake shore Ambiguous Goodyear, 1982
45 Spawning site preparation In the afternoon, females prepare the nest No category Groot, 1996
45 Spawning site preparation The female prepares a nest [On the spawning grounds the male (and sometimes the female) is aggressive to other spawning males] No category Scott and Crossman, 1973
45 Spawning site preparation Female digs a nest [Agressive behaviour of both males and females] Susbtrate chooser Fishbase, 2006
45 Spawning site preparation Brood hiders Susbtrate chooser Balon, 1975
45 Spawning site preparation Eggs are deposited in redd Susbtrate chooser Goodyear, 1982
45 Spawning site preparation Upon establishing a territory, the female constructs, spawns in, and covers a series of nests (three to eight), and then defends these from other females until her death days to weeks later Nest built by male Hamon, 1999
45 Spawning site preparation Nest by female Best build by female Fleming, 1998
41 Spawning temperature 20 [Upper limit, above which spawning will not occur] 20.0 °C Groot, 1996
41 Spawning temperature 5.0-10.5 7.75 °C Scott and Crossman, 1973
41 Spawning temperature Falling from 61 to 41°F, 5-16°C 10.5 °C Goodyear, 1982
41 Spawning temperature 6 [Temperature at which spawning is typically initiated] 6.0 °C Olden, 2006
40 Spawning period duration 1-2 weeks peak spawning but overall duration 6-8 1.5 weeks Gustafson, 1997
40 Spawning period duration Its total duration is 6.5 months, but in one lake is about 3 months 6.5 weeks Yegorova, 1978
40 Spawning period duration The island beach populations display possibly the most contracted period in the species, with a total spawning of just 2 weeks 2.0 weeks Hamon, 1999
42 Spawning water type Outlets of groundwater No category Vronskii and Leman, 1991
42 Spawning water type Inlet streams of the lake, along its shore Stagnant water Scott and Crossman, 1973
42 Spawning water type Rivers and bowls No category Parensky, 2002
42 Spawning water type Mid-reaches and headwaters of tributaries in areas with water valocity of less than 2.2 fps, if access tributaries is denied spawning occurs along lake shore, suually on wave-swpet beaches or on bars near stream mouth Stagnant water Goodyear, 1982
42 Spawning water type Streams, lake shores Stagnant water Willson, 1997
42 Spawning water type Spawn in the tributaries and around islands and mainland beaches of Iliamna Lake, Alaska. Stagnant water Hamon, 1999
43 Spawning depth 1-30 feet 15.5 m Goodyear, 1982
36 Spawning migration distance Spawning areas are 842 and 986 km from the mouth of the Columbia River 842.0 km Quinn, 1997
37 Spawning migration period Vary between populations : June July or later in the season ['June', 'July'] Groot, 1996
37 Spawning migration period Salmon return to spawn appear in coastal waters from May to October ['October', 'May'] Scott and Crossman, 1973
37 Spawning migration period Ocurrs during summer and fall as late as December ['August', 'December', 'July', 'September'] Fishbase, 2006
37 Spawning migration period In general, river entry and spawn timing show considerable spatial and temporal variability. Sockeye salmon enter Puget Sound Rivers from mid-June through August, while Columbia River populations gegin river entry in May ['August', 'May', 'June'] Gustafson, 1997
37 Spawning migration period The spawning run usually begins in the last days of May and ends the end of October/beginning of November. The heavy run occurs in the time interval between the middle of July and the beginning of September, the main part of the run from the end of July to the middle of August [The total duration of the spawning run is 5.5 months, the heavy run 1.5-2 months, the main part of the run 10-22 days] ['May', 'September', 'August', 'July', 'October', 'November'] Yegorova, 1978
37 Spawning migration period Move from offshore waters to spawning grounds along the lakeshore and in tributaries, tributary runs begin in mid-August, peak in late September and end in mid-October ['October', 'August', 'September'] Goodyear, 1982
39 Spawning season Late summer [Nothern and central areas] and Autumn [More southern areas] ['August', 'July', 'September'] Groot, 1996
39 Spawning season Generally September and October, and in November and December ['October', 'November', 'December', 'September'] Scott and Crossman, 1973
39 Spawning season September-October, or November-December ['October', 'November', 'December', 'September'] Fishbase, 2006
39 Spawning season Between Mid-October for the first spawners to Mid-December for the last spawners ['October', 'December'] Hendry, 1998
39 Spawning season Spawn in Puget Sound from late September to late December and occasionally into January, and in the Columbia River from late September to early November ['November', 'January', 'December', 'September'] Gustafson, 1997
39 Spawning season Spawning occurs from the end of July to February but in some years continue through February, but in lake Dal'neye occur from the end of July to the beginning of October ['February', 'October', 'July'] Yegorova, 1978
39 Spawning season September-October, peaks in late September or early October ['October', 'September'] Goodyear, 1982
39 Spawning season Among the species of Oncorhynchus, the salmon are typically late-summer spawners (the exact timing differing among locations and years), although southern chinook populations breed in psring, and some coho populations breed in late winter ['March', 'January', 'September', 'August', 'July', 'February'] Willson, 1997
39 Spawning season Throughout the period of island beach spawning, 13-29 August 1997 ['August'] Hamon, 1999
39 Spawning season Pacific salmon spawn in fall (though this may be as early as July or as late as February, depending on species and region) whereas the Pacific trout species (formely in the genus Salmo) spawn in spring. ['April', 'May', 'June', 'July', 'February'] Quinn and Myers, 2004
39 Spawning season The great majority spawn in tributaries of lakes Wenatchee and Osoyoos in September and October ['October', 'September'] Quinn, 1997
38 Homing The homing ability of sockeye salmon is well documented and straying is genrally 2% or less Present Groot, 1996
38 Homing After reaching a home lake they go to the natal river (usually an inlet) to spawn Present Scott and Crossman, 1973
38 Homing Return to natal stream to spawn Present Fishbase, 2006
38 Homing Sockeye salmon are thought to be especially precise in homing, because they return to and spawn in habitats associated with a lake wehre their offpsring rear for one or more years before migrating to the sea Present Youngand Woody, 2007
48 Spawning release Eggs are released in three to four times No category Groot, 1996
48 Spawning release A female normally needs 3 to 5 days to deposit all her eggs and utilizes 3 to 5 nests for this prupose No category Fishbase, 2006
49 Parity Nine to ten days after starting to spawn, male and female die Semelparous Groot, 1996
49 Parity The adults of both sex usually die a few days to several weeks later Semelparous Scott and Crossman, 1973
49 Parity All adult die after spawning Semelparous Fishbase, 2006
49 Parity Post-spawning death Semelparous Parensky, 2002
49 Parity Die soon after spawning Semelparous Goodyear, 1982
49 Parity Oncorhynchus species are principally semelparous, No category Willson, 1997
49 Parity Semelparous Semelparous Hamon, 1999
49 Parity All members of the genus Oncorhynchus(including anadromous and non-anadromous forms) die after spawning, and this is true with three exceptions. Firstn the Pacific trout species, are all iteroparous. Second, male masu salmon (O. masou) that mature in fresh water as parr are capable of surviving, migrating to sea, and spawning in subsequent season, though anadromous males and females are semelparous. Third, under experimental conditions male chinhook salmon can mature as parr, survive spawning, grow, and spawn again the following year, and even a third year. Semelparous Quinn and Myers, 2004
49 Parity 0% or repeat spawning for both anadromous and resident populations Iteroparous Fleming, 1998