Monday December 5, 2011

Once salmon enter streams and rivers they typically stop feeding and go into defensive mode. Although the process of returning to their natal spawning grounds is energetically costly and their bodies begin deteriorating, their ultimate goal is to pass their genes on to the next generation. Spawning salmon can be very aggressive and territorial, and will defend their spawning area from spawning salmon or other fish species attempting to feed on protein-rich salmon eggs. Because of this defensive behavior, fishermen are able to catch spawning bound salmon. Salmon, like the one in the video above, will bite shiny or brightly colored objects like lures, or in this case a camera. Chinook salmon males are often observed competing for access to females, while females will aggressively defend their nest (i.e. redd) from re-excavation by other females (i.e., superimposition) to within less than two days of death (Baxter 1991).

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