Kokanee is an anadromous species of salmon. This species is a Pacific Salmon that is primarily red in hue during spawning. They can be up to 84 cm in length and weigh anywhere from 2.3 to 7 kg. Juveniles remain in freshwater until they are ready to migrate to the ocean, over distances of up to 1,600 km. Their diet consists primarily of zooplankton. Kokanee are semelparous, dying after they spawn.
The Kokanee is sometimes called red or blueback salmon, due to its color. Kokanee are blue tinged with silver in color while living in the ocean. When they return to spawning grounds, their bodies become red and their heads turn green. Kokanee can be anywhere from 60 to 84 centimeters in length and weigh from 2.3 to 7 kg. Two distinguishing features are their long, serrated gill rakers that range from 30 to 40 in number, and their lack of a spot on their tail or back.
Kokanee are primarily done by trolling when targeted in the ocean. Hootchies and spoons are two common lures used for trolling. While hundreds of colour patterns are available, every seasoned Kokanee angler has his or her own preferred colour.
In streams, Kokanee can be caught by float fishing with krill, shrimp or roe. They are light biters so a sensitive float setup is required.
In poor water clarity Kokanee are unlikely to strike your bait. Occasionally, they are caught by bar fishing, a technique used to target Chinook Salmon. Most Kokanee are caught by flossing, which is a technique that has been accepted by majority of the recreational fishing community in Canada. Flossing involves lining your hook with salmon that are travelling upstream so they are hooked in the mouth by accident.
You should use a 20 pound(9kg) line (as a minimum) on a medium to medium-heavy action rod. In the smaller streams, you should normally use an 8.5 foot(2,6m) medium action rod with 12 pound(5,5kg) line.
Kokanee range as far south as the Columbia River in the eastern Pacific (although individuals have been spotted as far south as the 10 Mile River on the Mendocino Coast of California), and in northern Hokkaidō Island in Japan in the western Pacific. They range as far north as the Bathurst Inlet in the Canadian Arctic in the east and the Anadyr River in Siberia in the west. The farthest inland Kokanee travel is to Redfish Lake Idaho over 900 miles from the ocean and 6,500 feet in elevation.