Why do salmon jump?
From Pacific Salmon Life Histories. Edited by C. Groot and L. Margolis and in the chapter by William R. Heard on the Life History of Pink Salmon: When returning pink salmon appear near the mouths of streams, they are usually seen swimming near the surface and often exhibit a characteristic leaping behavior. Individuals leave the water, after a rapid swimming burst, in a forward leaping motion with their body initially oriented dorsoventrally, and then quickly rotated laterally, so the fish “falls” on its side or back (Berg 1948). A rapid series of jumps by the same fish often takes place. Reasons for this behavior are unknown.
In this video try to observe the above in the various fish (mostly chum salmon) jumping.
Think about possible reasons such as they may be trying to clean parasites from gills and scales, or as a side effect of increased and rapid hormonal changes, or just out of agitation.
- We did do one article on salmon titled Salmon in Winter by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans
- And another The Gifts of Salmon by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans