Salmon has an amazing and courageous life story. They are born into a stream and spend their first few years playing and growing into adolescents. They are called smolts at this point and are bright silver in color. It is estimated that only 10% of eggs make it to this point, and when the time is right, groups of young salmon gather at the mouths of the rivers ready to enter the ocean.
It is at this point that their bodies can physiologically be able to survive at sea. They then spend the next few years growing into adults in the bay gulf of Alaska, often having periods of rapid growth in the summer months. They develop ring-like markings every time they go through a period of growth, similar to the rings on a tree trunk.
Their life at sea is not an easy on often being hunted by seals, Orca whales and of course, fishermen. After often swimming a staggering 2000 miles in the ocean they head home to their birth site to spawn, and continue the circle of life.
The journey is long and full of obstacles tackling fast flowing steams and waterfalls, to finally reach they home. They then spawn, (some turn bright red in color, like below) and die shortly after, allowing the next generation a chance.
The Alaskan department of Fish and Game manages and protects up to 15,000 salmon steams in order to take care of these special fish.