North-South-East-West: American Indians and the Natural World

Spawn: A Perilous Journey

4. In Neptune's Realm

The distance and direction a salmon travels once it reaches the sea varies depending on the species. Many salmon travel along with ocean currents in circular routes. Some wander as far as 2,000 miles from the stream of their birth; others stay closer to home. On a diet of small fish, the salmon grow into adults weighing between 25 and 100 pounds.

Salmon can be food for bigger animals like tuna, seals, dolphins, and whales. However, a salmon's coloration helps it to avoid these predators. Salmon feed mostly at night when it is harder for predators to see them.

Depending on the species, maturing salmon spend one to seven years in the ocean before returning to their ancestral breeding grounds to spawn.

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