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Hucho perryi is one of largest, most ancient salmon species and primarily inhabits the lower to middle reaches of lakes and rivers. Fish over 30 cm long are almost exclusively piscivores, while the young feed mostly on aquatic insects. Females typically lay between 2,000 and 10,000 eggs in the spring on the sandy or gravelly river bottom. The average specimens caught have weighed around 5 kg (11 lb). The largest fish caught was recorded at 9.45 kg / 20 lb 13 oz (IGFA world record). According to the unauthorized record of Japan, a fish with length of 2.10 cm was captured in 1937 from the Tokachi River, Hokkaidō. This species of fish is able to change its own sex for mating.
Hucho perryi are found in the Northwest Pacific: Sakhalin Island (Russia), the Island of Hokkaidō (Japan), and parts of the far eastern Russian mainland. An anadromous form lives near the eastern shores of Hokkaido.
The global population of the species has dwindled in recent years for a variety of reasons. The loss of more than 50% of their original habitat due to agriculture, urbanization, and more recently, oil and gas development, is a major factor. Other considerable pressures include bycatch in the commercial salmon fisheries of Russia and Japan, as well as illegal fishing practices in Russia. The fish are also prized as trophies by Japanese recreational anglers.
In Japan, this species is bred for game-fishing at managed fishing sites, and raised fish are available for purchase. However, the species remains critically endangered.
In 2006, the IUCN listed Hucho perryi as critically endangered based on the assessment completed by the Salmonid Specialist Group. This designation represents the highest potential risk of global extinction to the species. The assessment revealed that the range-wide population has dropped in size to less than 5% of historic levels.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Parahucho perryi" in FishBase. September 2014 version.
- Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott, 1991. World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (21):243 p.(from fishbase, Hucho perryi)
- "Hucho perryi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2007. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 2006. Retrieved 11 November 2007. Listed as Critically Endangered (CR A4abcd v3.1)
- Rand, Pete. "Ancient, Giant Salmon in Asia Edging Towards Extinction" Wild Salmon Center, May 23, 2006.