19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Altered Images
Spawning Kokanee

The typical life cycle of the kokanee is similar to that of other salmon. They are born in a stream and migrate down to a lake where they will spend most of their adult lives. Kokanee typically live for four years in a lake before heading back to spawning grounds to spawn and die. During spawning, the males turn bright red and develop a humped back and an elongated jaw similar to the male sockeye salmon. Females also don a dark red hue during the breeding season, which also corresponds with the breeding season of sockeye salmon. The red helps the fish be seen from above water surface.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 09.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Bonners Ferry, Idaho, United States of America
Copyright: © Renee Lund