The Ultimate Salmon Spawning Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

One of the more memorable scenes in nature shows we've all watched at one time or another is the sight of large salmon swimming and leaping upstream to spawn. Take this quiz and learn more about the life of the salmon.

What is the purpose of a redd?

This is the gravel nest where the female deposits her eggs.


What happens when the embryos hatch?

During the initial stage, they become yolk-sac fry.


What kind of marine life provides sustenance for alevins?

The alevins or yolk-sac fry feed off their yolk-sacs.


What are smolts?

They are juvenile salmon.


Do the salmon born in freshwater have to remain there?

They change physically to adapt to saltwater.


What does the spotted coloring of the salmon indicate?

These are juvenile salmon, with their protective coloring for stream life.


What happens to their appearance before the salmon reach the ocean?

They lose the spotted coloring of the stream and become silvery.


What kind of water do smolts prefer?

Smolts or juvenile salmon live in freshwater until they undergo the changes necessary to adapt to saltwater.


What happens to most species after spawning?

They die within a week, exhausted from their migrations and spawning efforts.


What danger do decomposing fish bodies pose for a freshwater stream?

No danger, quite the opposite: The decomposing bodies provide food for other species and fertilize the stream.


What is unusual about pink salmon spawning in Washington State?

Spawning season is only every odd-numbered year.


What is the record weight of a Chinook salmon?

Top weight was 135 pounds (61 kg), while average weight is 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kg).


What differentiates Chinook from Coho, Chum or Sockeye salmon apart from size?

All have their spawning season in the fall, but Chinook also have spring and summer runs.


Do any species of salmon spawn mainly in spring?

The Steelhead spawn in spring, but can also have summer and winter runs.


How can flooding resulting from overly abundant rains affect salmon spawning?

Flooding can wash away the salmon eggs.


What happens in an ecosystem where salmon have become extinct?

The entire ecosystem is at risk: River otter, mink, bear and eagle all suffer from loss of population.


Of all the eggs laid by the female, how many survive to return later to spawn?

The survival rate is about one out of every 1,000 eggs.


What do salmon tend to look for in spawning grounds?

They look for clean cool waters that offer a safe, sheltered environment where the young can grow.


Why would the pink and chum salmon migrate to saltwater immediately after hatching?

They escape the higher mortality rate of the species that stay in the freshwater.


What kind of reel is best for fly fishing?

The reel needs to be able to handle a minimum of 150 yards (137 meters) of 20-pound test backing.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!