Coho Salmon typically spend the first year of their life in fresh water, though some have been found as old as 18 months of age in freshwater. Much of their time towards the end of their stint in freshwater is spent in the estuaries as their bodies adapt to deal with salt water.

Once they reach the ocean, they grow at a rapid rate. Around year three, Coho Salmon reach adulthood at which time they weigh from six to 12 pounds/5.4 kilograms and can be up to 38 inches/96.52 cm in length.

Coho Salmon are a deep-bodied salmon with unique colour features, being one of the most colourful spawning Pacific Salmon, close behind the Sockeye Salmon.

The dorsal surface is a metallic blue while the sides are silver. The black spots appear on the back and upper lobe of the caudal fin.

The lateral line is also present. The line is curved toward the front of the Coho Salmon and straightens out as it approaches the back.

While spawning, the Coho Salmon’s back and belly turn dark with the spawning males’ sides developing a bright red line and their jaws become hooked.

Coho Salmon Size

Coho salmon weigh from six to 12 pounds/5.44 kilograms and can be up to 38 inches/97 cm in length. Compared to the other Pacific Salmon, the Coho Salmon is the smallest.

Catch and Release

If you are not going to keep the fish you catch, we encourage you to follow a few guidelines that will increase the Coho’s chances of survival.

Avoid light line weights. These lines take more effort to reel the Coho in and exhaust them to the point where the risk of death is increased significantly.

Barbless hooks cause less damage and though are not as important as selecting the line weight. Outside of line strength, holding the Coho Salmon and letting the water flow through its gills is arguably the most important fact in their survival.

You should not have to hold on to them for more than a few minutes. Once they have gained their strength, they will simply swim away, but be ready for a splash.