That was the question asked by a recent Aquarium visitor after noticing the long hooked nose on a sockeye salmon.
Our male sockeye salmon, especially those in our Window on Washington Waters exhibit, are getting a lot of attention due to the morphological changes they undergo as they get closer to the spawning phase of their life. They have developed long hooked noses, red coloration and humped backs. These changes are useful for attracting females and competing with other males.
All of the Seattle Aquarium’s salmon come from hatcheries. In accordance with an agreement with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the salmon from our exhibits are not released to spawn.