Reproductive development and energy stores were characterized for sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) maturing in the wild (Pick Creek, Bristol Bay, Alaska). Between freshwater entry and the start of spawning, ovaries increased in mass by 87.1% and secondary sexual characters
increased in linear dimension by 13.0-47.4%. Between the start of spawning and death, secondary sexual characters decreased in relative size by 3.3-12.7%. Mass-specific somatic energy declined from freshwater entry (6.7% fat, 20.6% protein, 6.6 kJ·g-1) to the start of spawning
(1.6% fat, 18.0% protein, 4.5 kJ·g-1) and finally to death (0.1% fat, 14.4% protein, 2.9 kJ·g-1). Stored fat appeared to be used primarily for upriver migration and egg production, whereas stored protein appeared to be used primarily for the development
of secondary sexual characters and metabolism during spawning. Most development of secondary sexual characters occurred late in maturation, perhaps to forestall deterioration of muscle tissue. Relative to populations with long freshwater migrations, Bristol Bay sockeye salmon stored less fat
before entering fresh water and used less fat before death. The total energy cost of reproduction (freshwater entry until death, including gonad investment) was 74.1% for females and 66.1% for males, higher than levels typically reported for iteroparous salmonids.
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