Salmon run spins the thread of life up Kushiro River tributaries

Even as winter begins, spawning salmon continue to run upstream in rivers in the Kushiro region of eastern Hokkaido. Early mornings in mid-November, and salmon can be seen swimming strenuously upstream in the upper reaches of tributaries, at the end of their long journey, tens of kilometers from the Kushiro River estuary.
Amid the early morning cries of Hokkaido sika deer and the flicker of snow, shoals of salmon 60–70 cm in length can be seen in the shallows of the clear streams. Vivid pink eggs are scattered on the river bed. Salmon with purple, nuptial colored markings and tattered fins head strenuously upstream. After laying their eggs, the burnt-out salmon become a precious source of food for Ezo red foxes and wild birds. The salmon can be seen swimming upstream in rivers in the Kushiro River water system until around late November.