Sockeye salmon turn a bright crimson breeding color at Chitose Aquarium

Visitors’ attention is drawn to the Sockeye salmon, whose bodies have turned bright crimson.

Adult Sockeye salmon – which turn a bright crimson color for breeding during the season in which they return up the rivers in autumn – as well as pink salmon, chum salmon and the like, are being displayed at the ‘Salmon Hometown Chitose Aquarium’ in the city of Chitose.

Apart from their silver heads, the bodies of the five male Sockeye salmon, approximately 50 cm long, are colored bright crimson. The salmon rarely return to rivers in Hokkaido but were captured by the aquarium with permission from the Hokkaido National Fisheries Research Institute, as they swam up the Bibi River after being released in an experiment. The display began on September 6. According to the manager of the aquarium, “The color gradually fades so now is the best time to see it.”

In addition to the Sockeye salmon, approximately 80 pink salmon captured in the Tokoro River in the city of Kitami, and approximately 70 chum salmon captured at the Indian fish wheel on the Chitose River will also be displayed at the aquarium for some time.

During declarations of a ‘state of emergency’, advance reservations are required via the aquarium’s website (


Salmon Hometown Chitose Aquarium