sockeye salmon


sock·​eye salmon ˈsäk-ˌī- How to pronounce sockeye salmon (audio)
: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The pristine watershed produces the largest run in the world of sockeye salmon, according to analysts with the McKinley Research Group. Evan Bush, NBC News, 31 Jan. 2023 There are still some Kokanee, a landlocked version of sockeye salmon, and white sturgeon, an ancient fish listed as endangered in both countries. Stephen Robert Miller, Discover Magazine, 5 Feb. 2022 The Gulkana Hatchery has a Garden of Eden feel, which is fitting since millions of sockeye salmon begin life here each year. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 30 July 2022 The Pebble project is on state land about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, near headwaters of Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Jan. 2023 By midsummer, low stream flows and warm water had killed half the annual sockeye salmon breeding run in the Columbia River. Douglas Fox, Discover Magazine, 29 Nov. 2015 Only three percent of pink salmon and 13 percent of sockeye salmon survive to make their final migratory breeding journey towards their natal streams. Jason P. Dinh, Discover Magazine, 29 June 2022 Each sockeye salmon can provide up to 4,500 calories. Angela Owens, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2022 In addition to small amounts of pink and sockeye salmon, fishers in the Yukon River and its tributaries are also catching sheefish, grayling, burbot, pike, and whitefish. Victoria Petersen, Wired, 30 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sockeye salmon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


by folk etymology from Northern Straits (Salishan language of southern Vancouver Island and nearby islands) sə́qəy̓

First Known Use

1869, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sockeye salmon was in 1869

Dictionary Entries Near sockeye salmon

Cite this Entry

“Sockeye salmon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

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