Tue, October 12, 2010
Sci-Tech > Science

Biggest sockeye run in 100 years

2010-10-12 02:36:28 GMT2010-10-12 10:36:28 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The sockeye salmons swim upstream in the Adams River in the Province of British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Wan Bin)

The sockeye salmons swim upstream in the Adams River in the Province of British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Wan Bin)

Dead sockeye salmons are seen during their journey back to the Adams River in the Province of British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Wan Bin)

The sockeye salmons swim upstream in the Adams River in the Province of British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 7, 2010.(Xinhua/Wan Bin)

The sockeye salmons swim upstream in the Adams River in the Province of British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 7, 2010.(Xinhua/Wan Bin)

The sockeye salmons swim upstream in the Adams River in the Province of British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 7, 2010.(Xinhua/Wan Bin)

As many as 2.5 million sockeye salmons are expected to be flooding into the Adams river this year, which is supposed to be the biggest sockeye run in a century.

Sockeye salmons lay eggs in shallower waters of the Adams River in October every year.

After growing for one year in freshwater, the young fish, also known as sockeye fry, migrate downstream to the ocean where they spend the next three years.

With near-perfect timing, the instinctive call to spawn draws sockeye adults back to their birthplace with unerring precision. Once reentering freshwater, the fish stop eating and become bright red.

They swim against the river, over rapid torrents during the nearly 500 kilometers journey from the ocean to the Adams River. After getting back home and laying eggs finally, the sockeye are completely exhausted and die.

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