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Cherry Salmon or Brook masu salmon fish identification, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.

Cherry Salmon Fishing Brook masu salmon or Cherry Salmon, Oncorhynchus masou, commonly known as the Masu Salmon, Japanese salmon: Sakuramasu, Sima or Seema Salmon in Rusian, is a salmon species that reside only on the Asian side of the world’s largest ocean, western Pacific Ocean: in Kamchatka, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, Primorsky Krai, Korea and Japan. The southernmost and most warm-water representative of Pacific salmon, widespread preferentially in Japan Sea basin. Enters rivers of Korea, Primorye, Japan, Sakhalin and up north the coasts of Kamchatka.
Masu Salmon also have a critically endangered, landlocked subspecies called Taiwanese salmon or Formosan salmon (Oncorhynchus masou formosanus) which exists in Taiwan. It is one of the most endangered fish in the world, with only 400 individuals surviving in the wild at last count.
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The size of the Cherry Salmon when it reaches maturity depends on the area in which it lives. As adults, masu salmon tend to weigh 2 to 2.5 kg and measure roughly 50 cm in length. The maximum size that can be attained by this species (in the region of Primorsky Krai) is 71 cm long and 9 kg in weight.
Young fish have bright spots, contrasting with clear margins. Number of abdominal spots full on the grown up to 50-60 mm juveniles. Adipose fin have dark pigment stripe around the outer edges, without a transparent mirror in its center. In the dorsal fin there are 11-13 branched rays. On the front rays of dorsal and anal fins often goes black and white border. Caudal peduncle long and low, its height is less than the length. Pink Salmon characteristics

One of the most beautiful representatives of Pacific salmon, particularly in wedding attire. The Brook Masu Salmon resembles the Pink Salmon before they were identified as a separate species. They are differs from other salmon species by presence on its body sides of transversal stripes, lesser number of gill rays and richness of color gamut of wedding attire.
Cherry Salmon Spawning When it attains sexual maturity, its back darkens, and the stripes on the body sides become bright red with crimson tinge to merge on the abdomen into one common longitudinal band of lighter color. It is for this reason that it was given the name Cherry Salmon. The males grow a small hump, rise and curve jaw, the teeth grow. At the time of maturing fish strips on the sides of the body are bright red with a crimson hue. On the abdomen, they merge into a common longitudinal strips, colored lighter. The back is dark brownish, fins darken in their color appears red. Tips of dorsal, anal and the lower edge of caudal fins are white. On the back and fins marked oval spots.

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    The species of salmon that is most comfortable in warm water, they live in temperate, shallow waters and are smaller than most of their Pacific cousins. This fish prefers a temperate climate and a depth range of 0 - 670ft (0 – 200 m). There is a landlocked population of cherry salmon which live in Taiwan. Formosan landlocked salmon require cold waters to live, and first the threat of over fishing and now the challenge of pollution have been the main contributors to their decline in numbers.
    Like other Pacific salmon, they live their lives in both fresh and salt water. In the rivers, this species lives from 1 to 3 years, until about 10cm in length and can form living fresh-water forms. Then most females become smoltified and go down to live in the coastal waters while most males remain in the rivers and mature in a residual form. The sea life cycle, depending on the age of the young, continues for 2 to 3.5 years. The sea-run form goes downstream forming schools, and after a short stay in the brackish zone enters the sea where it feeds less often on small fishes and intensely on pelagic crustaceans. The young are hatched and spend two years on average growing in river and stream beds, although they may wait as long as three years until migrating to the ocean. Once in the ocean, these fish will feed on crustaceans and sometimes smaller fish for several years until reaching maturity. Once they reach maturity they head back to their waters of origin. After spawning, most seema will die, but a few males may survive to breed again the following year. While spawning, these salmon acquire a bright red stripe on their sides from which their cherry name derives.
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    The Cherry Salmon became sexualy mature at age from 3 to 7 years old. They enter rivers to spawn from mid-May to early September. Its spawning run starts earlier than that of other salmon species. A masu salmon which has reached sexual maturity has a darkened back, and the stripes on the body sides become bright red with crimson tinge to merge on the abdomen into one common longitudinal band of lighter color. After entering the river these salmon, unlike others salmon, yet continues to eat, and fishermen know that this is a good time to fish by trolling. Spawning grounds are situated in river upper reaches, small tributaries with a weak trend and pebble soil and in brook channels. Female fecundity from 1170 to almost 5000 eggs per spawning period, while common is approximately 1800 eggs. The roe is spawned into nests of 4 - 18 IN (10 - 45 cm) deep on pebbly-silty soils with weak currents. In the rivers, lower spawning grounds are located 10-15 km away from river estuaries, up to 100 km from the estuary. Eggs are buried in unguarded nests.
    After spawning, most passing fish die, and those that remain alive (preferentially dwarf males) participate in spawning next year, too. They hatch in 50-70 days and later, after 25-30 days they have teeth and on the sides of their bodies appear dark transverse spots. Juveniles cherry salmon released from the ground in March and April, they do not go to sea, and remains in the rivers. At this time the larvae have a length of 28-35 mm and weight 130-280 mg. By the end of July the larvae reach 40 mm. At this time their sides and belly bacame silvery, the back - an olive with the blue tint, and on the sides stands large black oval spots, between which there are small spots with blurred edges. Their flippers become Vivid color. Juveniles 50-60 mm long shifts and rifts in the reaches of the core part of the river, where the larvae feed by water insects and air insects, eggs and salmon fry.
Cherry Salmon Fry     After emerging from the nest, the young do not roll into the sea but remain in spawning areas, in the upper reaches of rivers, and on shallows with weak currents. The young move to pools and rolls of the river core to feed on chironomid, stone fly and may fly larvae, and on air insects. The masu salmon rolls into the sea in its second, occasionally even third year of life.

    Many fishermen mistakenly believe that there is a another species due the presence of small size mature individuals (dwarf male) permanently living in the river, young fish are known as "char", “brook trout”. For cherry salmon, indeed, there are known dwarf male who constantly live in the river. Those males attain sexual maturity at 1-2 year life at a length of 9-10 cm, and take part in spawning, along with the regular cherry salmon males. Cherry Salmon Dwarf Male
Spawning changes in dwarfs are very small, so they are often difficult to distinguish from ordinary young Cherry Salmon. Most of the dwarf males do not die after spawning. In the sea cherry salmon rolls for 2-3 year life with a body length 6-18 cm, and returned to their native rivers after 1-3 years living in the sea.
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Like other species of Pacific salmon, Cherry Salmon are prized as sports fish throughout the areas they occur. Cherry Salmon can be found living year round throughout their lives in some rivers and streams in Korea, Japan, and Russia. These individuals are considered brook trout, and are prized by anglers who use flies.
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