Spawning occurs mainly November-January in California, mainly in December in southern Oregon and northern California, most frequently in January south of the Mattole River, and September-December (mainly November-December) in Washington and Oregon
Female may guard nest for up to 2 weeks. Eggs incubate in winter and hatch in 1.5-4 months, depending on temperature. Young emerge from gravel 2-10 weeks after hatching.
Adults die soon after spawning, at age 2-5 years (usually at three years in Washington, Oregon, and California, 4 years in southeastern Alaska); some males return to spawn after only 6 months at sea.
Stocked populations usually do not reproduce.