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Why do salmon die after they spawn?

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Brian Campbell. Today's question is ...

Why do salmon die after they spawn?

Answer:

Salmon use all their energy for returning to their home stream, for making eggs and digging the nest. Most salmon stop eating when they return to freshwater and have no energy left for a return trip to the ocean after spawning. After they die, other animals eat them (but people don't) or they decompose, adding nutrients to the stream.

And now you know.  Join us again every week for a new CoreFact.  For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to usgs.gov/podcasts.  If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an e-mail at corefacts@usgs.gov or a phone call at 703-648-5600.  Remember, long distance fees do apply.  CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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Title: Why do salmon die after they spawn?

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Date Recorded: 5/20/2009


Usage: This audio file is public domain/of free use unless otherwise stated. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this audio.

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