Also known as: Red, Blueback (salmon)

We’re onto the last two salmon illustrations! These are smaller species – with this being perhaps the most archetypical of the Pacific salmon. Sockeyes combine brilliant red and fierce green, making them unmistakable. Some very fine speckles may be present on the tail but nothing more. Uniquely, Sockeye require a lake for part of their life cycle: after hatching in a river they search for a lake to spend the next 1-4 years in. If no lake is present, they will head straight to sea. At sea a deep green hue may already show on the head, as well as a blue tinge to the back, earning them their nickname ‘blueback’. Any silver on the tail is lacking. As said they are a relatively small species; maximum size is 33 inch (84 cm) and 17 lbs (8 kg), but 18-26 inch (45-65 cm) and 4-8 lbs (2-3.6 kg) is normal.

Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) – spawning phase