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Alaska

The Great Salmon Runs of Alaska

Alaska is the ninth largest seafood producing area in the world and most of that comes just from salmon alone. Alaska is home to some of the greatest salmon migration patterns in the world and can be seen from all over the state. Many visitors often wonder why the salmon fight their way upstream and over many obstacles. The answer has to do with the fact that salmon are a hybrid fish that live part of their life in fresh water and another part of their lives in the ocean. Salmon first begin their lives as eggs in streams and rivers. Once they hatch they spend their time maturing in these calmer waters before migrating downstream to the ocean. Once the salmon has reached full maturity between 2-6 years of age they migrate back into the freshwater to their spawning ground to start the cycle all over again. This return to the areas where they hatched are known as salmon runs. Salmon often have to cross numerous natural and human-made obstacles to return back and their migration is one of the most amazing natural wonders in the world.

Different species of salmon run at different times of the year. For example, the King Chinook salmon often run early between mid-May to early July, while the Pink Humpback salmon often run late between late July and September. Depending on when you visit Alaska different species will be running at different times. The sheer abundance of salmon make Alaska one of the most popular places to fish in the summer both for sport and recreation. Animals even join in on the frenzy as many bears fish for salmon in the summer months in preparation for winter. A great time to see a salmon run, bear watch or fish is on the Alaskan continuing medical education cruise that Continuing Education Company hosts in August.

One of the best places for viewing the salmon runs is at Ketchikan Creek and Falls. The site is located just outside of downtown Ketchikan and has been a summer fishing camp for Tlingt Natives for centuries. Visitors to the area can see thousands of salmon climb a water ladder in their effort to return back to their hatching grounds. Visitors to Alaska can find salmon running in almost every river and stream around the state during the summer months. The crowded streams so abundant with fish are sure to amaze any visitor. Salmon have long been a popular symbol for Alaska and a popular dish all over the world and seeing them up close is sure to give anyone a greater appreciation for these amazing creatures.


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