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The Fish

Meet the Species

Illustrations by Shari Erickson

Chinook

Chinook salmon • Also known as Kings
• The largest of the species, up to 125 lbs
• Can live up to seven years
• Spawn most often in large rivers or streams and in deep, fast water
• Flesh color may vary from white to pink to red
• Least abundant of North American Pacific salmon

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Coho

Coho salmon • Also known as Silvers
• Spend one to two years in freshwater before migrating to sea
• Require small headwater streams for pre-migration period
• Originally one of the most commercially sought after species; now depleted in many areas

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Chum

Chum salmon • Also known as Dogs for their canine-like teeth, or as Keta after their Nanai (Asian aboriginal group) name
• Broadest geographic range of all the species, extending from California to Korea
• Spawn low in river systems
• Migrate to sea soon after hatching
• Flesh color may vary from white to pink to red
• Drier flesh well-suited for smoking

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Pink

Pink salmon • Also known as Humpies
• Most abundant of the species
• Smallest of the species
• Often spawn in estuaries or lower reaches of rivers
• Migrate to sea soon after hatching
• Two-year life cycle with alternate even and odd year runs
• Lowest fat content of the species
• Frequently used for canning

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Sockeye

Sockeye salmon • Also known as Reds
• Darkest flesh of the species
• Name comes from the First Nation sukkai, meaning "fish"
• Greatest variety of life history patterns — spawn not only in rivers but also in lakes
• Often spend one to three years in freshwater before migrating to sea
• Some populations have become land-locked, and are known as kokanee salmon

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Steelhead

Steelhead • Live as much as four years in freshwater before migrating to sea
• May mature without ever leaving fresh water, in which case they are called rainbow trout
• Often do not die after spawning, but will re-migrate to the ocean
• Highly prized by anglers for their fighting spirit

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