Sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka, an iconic salmon species.

Also called Red Salmon in the United States, these small salmon make a big impact when they fill a river system during their spawning run. After one of the largest distances travelled in the open ocean, sockeye salmon turn bright red, and are very visible as they make their way to the spawning grounds. Certain runs such as the Adams River in Central BC, and some in Alaska are truly momentous. People come from all over the world on dominant run years to witness the spectacle. Photos of sockeye salmon underwater are dramatic and colourful. They are a favorite among underwater photographers.

Each years sockeye run is quite different. The ocean survival rate seems to be affected quite easily. 2015 saw some very surprising returns. The Adams River run was a lot lower than expected but the Nass was higher. Alaska also experienced some dramatic returns this year.

Click HERE to see some dramatic drone footage from high above Lake Iliamna recorded this year.