(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

HABITAT: Salmon are born in fresh water streams. When they are big enough, they migrate downstream, spending time in San Francisco Bay before swimming out to the Pacific Ocean to live the majority of their lives. At the end of their lives, salmon swim back upstream to spawn in the rivers where they were born.

DIET: Young salmon feed on terrestrial and aquatic insects and aquatic invertebrates such as crabs or crayfish. As they grow in size, salmon survive primarily by eating smaller fish.

PREDATORS: Young salmon are an important food source for other fish and birds. Dolphins, seals, sea lions, sharks, and humans eat adult salmon from the ocean.

FUN FACTS: Salmon find the place where they were born by smelling their way back to the exact spot on the river. Dams pose a threat to the reproduction of salmon populations by blocking the path back to their breeding grounds.


Photo Courtesy of California Department of Fish and Game