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Kokanee
Oncorhynchus nerka
Identifying Characteristics

Silver during most of the year, but brilliant red during fall spawning
13 to 15 rays in the anal fin while trout have 9 to 11
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Other Information
The kokanee is a land-locked variety of the sockeye salmon native to certain lakes in Washington and British Columbia.

Kokanee are well adapted for large, cool reservoirs. They possess large numbers of fine gillrakers, which enable them to feed on plankton more efficiently than most species.

Kokanee are fall spawners. Various strains spawn from late August to early November. In Flaming Gorge Reservoir, kokanee begin running Sheep Creek in early September. Kokanee usually begin running the Green River in October, and yet another subpopulation spawns along the shoreline of the reservoir in October and November. As with other Pacific salmon, kokanee die following spawning.

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Angling Tips
During the summer, kokanee can be taken by trolling pop-gear with worms or small, brightly colored spinners. Kokanee generally average twelve to sixteen inches in length in Wyoming. Fish up to four pounds have been observed in the spawning runs from Flaming Gorge.

Kokanee image