5 Amazing Fish Spawning Facts You May Not Know

By Debbie Hanson

Feb 26, 2016

Fish behavior, specifically fish spawning behavior, can be absolutely amazing.

Fish behavior, specifically fish spawning behavior, can be absolutely amazing. There's always something new you can learn about fish species behavior when you're out on the water or reading about your favorite sport fish. Of course, this also includes learning about the incredibly unique life cycle that each fish species progresses through during its existence.

Throughout the course of my online and offline fishing education, I've discovered some pretty amazing facts about fish spawning.

  1. Snook are an amazing saltwater fish because the males actually reverse sex and change into females after the spawning season, which is generally during the fall. According to FWC biologists, the switch takes place when the species are between one and seven years old.
  2. Pacific salmon (including chinook, chum, coho, pink, and sockeye species) swim hundreds of miles from the ocean back to the freshwater streams where they were hatched in order to spawn.
  3. Since fish spawning activity is influenced by water temperature changes, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency publishes an online chart that outlines the temperature ranges at which specific freshwater species spawn in the state of Tennessee.
  4. Based on information provided by the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife, freshwater drum make a croaking or "drumming" sound using muscles in their swim bladder during spawning.
  5. Schools of bonefish have been found to swirl like an underwater tornado in offshore waters when in spawning mode. Since bonefish primarily live on the saltwater flats of the Florida Keys and the Bahamas, it's rare to see a school of bonefish exhibiting these behaviors in offshore waters.

The most important thing to remember about fish spawning is that the process is essential for maintaining healthy fish populations. Always check your state fishing regulations and release fish that appear to be preparing to spawn.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.