Young chum salmon are seen swimming vigorously toward the ocean as they slip between Ranunculus nipponicus aquatic plants in the Nishibetsu River near to the town of Shibecha in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture. As fingerlings, they measure a little over 5 centimeters. According to the Hokkaido National Fisheries Research Institute's Nijibetsu Sakemasu station, located close to the river's source, some 25 million of the fish will be released into the river this year. It will take them about a week to cover the 70-kilometer journey east to the Nemuro Strait that divides Japan from the Russian-controlled Kuril Islands.
(Japanese original by Taichi Kaizuka, Hokkaido News Department Photo Group)