Local students learn about Kokanee salmon spawning in Green River

Students observe the annual kokanee salmon run in Green River (WGFD photo/Lucy Diggins-Wold)

GREEN RIVER, WYOMING (Oct. 18, 2019) — Nearly 40 students, parents, and their school teachers attended a field trip to the WGFD Green River Region Office to learn more about how the Kokanee salmon in the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir complete their life cycle and how they are part of the food web or food chain in nature.

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Teacher Krissie Brownlee of Truman lined up the field trip with Green River Information and Education Specialist Lucy Diggins-Wold. The group spent two hours watching videos and slides about how kokanee salmon came to be in Wyoming, how and where they spawn and how they feed other wildlife when they die after spawning in the river and Gorge.

An employee of Wyoming Game and Fish holds a spawning kokanee salmon (WGFD photo/Lucy Diggins-Wold)

The group also walked down to the Green River Greenbelt and watched the kokanee spawn. These students did not have to travel to any far-off, exotic lands to witness the wonders of nature. This Kokanee spawn happens right in their own “backyard.”

The salmon actually spawn in an early run (August and September) and a late run (October and November). These salmon are land-locked, originating from British Columbia.

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They typically live only four years, turn red and green in color, the females lay their eggs, the males deposit their milt on the eggs and then both males and females die.

A riverside sign explaining the life cycle of the kokanee salmon (WGFD photo/Lucy Diggins-Wold)

There is an interpretive sign down by the river (at Riverside Memorial Park) where you can read all about the life cycle of the kokanee salmon.

Remember that it is illegal to snag kokanee salmon, and all kokanee caught Sept. 10 to Nov. 30 in Flaming Gorge Reservoir must be released to the water immediately.


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