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Definition of SOCKEYE SALMON
: a commercially important Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) that is greenish blue above and silvery below when sexually immature and turns red with a greenish head when ascending rivers to spawn which it does chiefly from the Columbia northward —called also red salmon, sockeye — compare kokanee
Origin of SOCKEYE SALMON
by folk etymology from Northern Straits (Salishan language of southern Vancouver Island and nearby islands) sə́qəy̓
First Known Use: 1869
Male sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in spawning phase—Jeff FoottBruce Coleman Inc.
Food fish (Oncorhynchus nerka) of the North Pacific that constitutes almost 20% of the commercial fishery of Pacific salmon. It weighs about 6 lbs (3 kg) and lacks distinct spots on the body. It ranges from the northern Bering Sea to Japan and from Alaska to California. Sockeyes may migrate more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) upriver to spawn in lakes or tributary streams. The young remain in freshwater one to five years. The kokanee is a small, nonmigratory, freshwater subspecies.