Coho Salmon are found around the northern latitudes of the coastal Pacific ocean and the rivers that drain into it.

Pacific Distribution

This includes from northern Japan to the Anadyr River in Russia over to Alaska in the United States all the way down to Monterey Bay in California. This also includes the rivers of British Columbia and it many famous rivers including the popular Fraser river.

The Coho Salmon can also be found outside of this region as far south as Baja California, Mexico. However, this is more of an exception rather than the norm ad occurs mostly in colder years rather than warmer than normal years.

Introduction to the Great Lakes

The coho has been successfully introduced to the Great Lakes in the United States and Canada. While the Coho Salmon is a sea going salmon, it can quite happily survive and even thrive in the right lake habitat, never needing to go to the ocean.

The Great Lakes offer deep cool water in the summer and the right spawning grounds in the late summer and early fall.

The Great Lakes also offer a great bounty of bait fish, which is the main reason they were introduced to the Great Lakes.

Prior to the introduction of the Coho and other Salmon species, there were too many small fish causing a strain on food resources in the Great Lakes. This has turned out to be a positive allowing the Coho Salmon to grow large quickly.

Maine, Maryland and Louisiana

The Coho Salmon has also been introduced to the inland lakes of Maine, Maryland and Louisiana. However, some lakes are too small to allow them to successfully maintain their population and as a result require annual stocking by state agencies.

The Coho Salmon has also been successfully introduced to Alberta, Canada. Alberta has a lot of clear and clean mountain streams that the Coho Salmon like.

Coho Salmon Endangered Species

While the Coho Salmon is not endangered the United States, a species can be viewed as endangered if the species do not interact with other Coho Salmon in other rivers for the purpose of conservation.

While these are still considered the same species by scientific classification purposes, it allows protection of fish species for particular rivers and streams.

The current area where Coho Salmon are considered Endangered is along the Central California Coast. The Coho Salmon is considered threatened in the Southern Oregon and Northern California coast, the lower Columbia River and the Oregon coast. Areas of concern include the Puget sound.