Fish as seen in saltwater.

Highly adaptable, Coho can be found in rivers and streams across North America. They generally weigh from 8 to 12 lbs and run from 18 to 24 inches in length.

Coho are incredible challenges for sportfishers. They’re difficult to catch, leaping upward and sideways. They’re known for a ‘smash and run’ pattern when they bite, and the angler should be prepared to dart from one side of the boat to the other to keep up. Similar to Chinook, they are more carnivorous than other Pacific salmon, with a specific feeding preference for shrimp.

Spotting a Coho

Coho can resemble Chinook, especially large fish and during the spawning stage. But in the ocean, they can be easily identified by their dark blue backs. When spawning, a Coho’s snout becomes blunt and deeply hooked. Male Cohos’ lower mouths get so swollen during spawning that they can’t close them.

Habits and Habitat

Coho spend at least one winter in freshwater before moving out to the ocean. They then spend about 18 months of their adult lives in the ocean before returning at the age of three or four to their natal rivers and streams, which are often slow-moving watersThe peak of Coho spawning occurs in late fall.

Other Facts About Coho:

  • Coho are excellent table fare; their high levels of fat make them delicious. Only Chinook and Sockeye are fattier.
  • One reason for their impressive taste is because of their own feeding habits: they’re known for being greedy and gluttonous as young adults and grow very quickly as a result.