Species Profile

Sockeye Salmon Takla-Trembleur-Stuart-S population

Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus nerka
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia, Pacific Ocean
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2017
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: A2b+4bd
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This anadromous species faces a number of threats in both freshwater and marine areas, which are causing habitat quality to decline. The number of mature individuals has been declining steadily for 3 generations yet removals by fishing remained high.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in November 2017.
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd):

No schedule - No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

Go to advanced search

Quick Links: | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents


Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.



PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

3 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Sockeye Salmon Oncorhynchus nerka, 24 Designatable Units in the Fraser River Drainage Basin, in Canada (2018-10-22)

    Sockeye salmon is one of seven species of the genus Oncorhynchus native to North America. Adults have a slender, streamlined, silvery body with faint blue-green specking on the back and weigh an average of 3 kg (but in some cases over 6 kg). They undergo a distinctive transformation of external colour and body shape during their migration from the ocean to the freshwater ecosystem where they were born and grew as juveniles (usually a lake). The head becomes pale green in colour, the body can change to a brilliant scarlet, and the males develop large teeth and a sharply hooked jaw. The adults die soon after spawning and the developing embryos and then juveniles typically remain in freshwater for 1-2 years. Sockeye salmon exist as isolated populations and they evolve local adaptations to their freshwater environments. Note: This COSEWIC assessment was received by the Minister on October 15th, 2018.

Response Statements

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report 2017 to 2018 (2018-10-15)

    Over the past year COSEWIC assessed a total of 90 wildlife species and 11 of these were assigned a status of Not at Risk. Of these 90, COSEWIC re-examined the status of 38 wildlife species; of these, the majority (87%) were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 771 wildlife species in various risk categories including 338 Endangered, 183 Threatened, 228 Special Concern, and 22 Extirpated (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 18 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, and a total of 59 wildlife species have also been designated as Data Deficient and 197 have been assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.
Date modified: