The pacific salmon is a wonderful fish to eat. It has been called the “most important animal in history,” and it’s easy for us to see why. In addition to being delicious, they are also one of the most reliable sources of food on Earth! They live mostly in the Pacific Ocean – but there are populations of them all across Europe and North America. They are one of the most popular fish to eat in Japan, for example.
Pacific salmon are harvested commercially, and there are many species that make up this industry. They include Chinook (King), Coho (Silver), and Sockeye Salmon. Pacific saltwater fisheries also provide a variety of fish to the market including Codfish, Flounder, Halibut, Lobster, and Monkfish.
Pacific salmon are one of two major species groups in the genus Oncorhynchus. Members of this group have large scales and can weigh up to 15 pounds, or nearly seven kilograms. The name Pacific salmon comes from where they inhabit: the Pacific coast of North America (from California to Alaska), as well as Asia and western South America.
Pacific salmon have a lighter-colored belly, with some species having red spots. They are born in fresh water and go to the ocean when they reach maturity before returning to spawn (release eggs) upstream of their birth river or stream where conditions allow them to reproduce successfully. The largest group is called Chinook salmon which can be found off the coast of California.
Pacific salmon are popular sportfish and have been the subject of many books, films, artworks (painting), songs, games, poems, and other cultural expressions.
Pacific salmon varieties
Pacific salmon are big fish in the Pacific region. They travel to saltwater and back, sometimes up rivers when they cannot find a way out of freshwater. The most popular variety is sockeye because it tastes good and has very few bones for easy consumption. Coho can be used for smoking or eating whole; their flavor is not as intense, but they are a good choice if you need to cut up the fish.
Chinook salmon is known for being oily with a mild flavor and many bones, so it’s best smoked or canned. Chum can be pickled in jars because of their high oil content which makes them taste like bacon when preserved this way; otherwise, it has a less intense flavor.
Pacific salmon species
Pink ‘Oncorhynchus gorbuscha’
The pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) is the smallest of all Pacific salmon species. It can grow to be no more than 27 inches in length, and usually weighs less than five pounds. This fish’s life span varies between two and six years, with an average around four or five years old when they spawn for the first time.
Pink salmon typically spawn in the early summer, between June and August. In some years, they will spawn at two different times during this window; every few years it may happen that there are three spawning periods for pink salmon, so their mating season is much longer than most other fish species. The female does not need to mate with a male to produce fertilized eggs, but in most cases, the males will help take care of and protect their young.
Pink salmon typically spawn near the mouth of streams or rivers that have good populations of zooplankton, which is an important food for this species. These fish are also known as humpback pinks because they are very aggressive when it comes to competing for food.
Pink salmon are a keystone species in many of the rivers and streams that they live in because animals from other parts of the ecosystem rely on them as an important food source or predator during their lives. They also help ensure that nutrients get into both freshwater environments and oceans throughout North America by being a keystone species.
Sockeye ‘Oncorhynchus nerka’
The Sockeye is found in the North Pacific Ocean. They are silver-blue with medium-size heads, and their flesh turns red when cooked. The Sockeye is an anadromous fish species that migrate to spawn two different ways: one group from an area near Alaska’s Bristol Bay migrate into rivers for spawning; while those off the coast of Japan travel southward then back into the ocean, where they spawn in a freshwater tributary of the Oyashio.
Coho ‘Oncorhynchus kisutch’
Coho ‘Oncorhynchus kisutch’, also known as the silver salmon or simply coho, is a species of anadromous fish in the family Salmonidae. It inhabits both fresh and saltwater along the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to Northern California. The name comes from “kohyo”, the Japanese word for “silver.
The Coho is a slender fish with an elongated body and pointed snout. Adults are typically around long and weigh between. They have small gill openings (approximately), which allows them to live in relatively shallow water as adults; however, they can still operate well in deeper waters. The back is gray to olive green with darker mottling, while the flanks are silvery.
The Coho’s traditional range extends from Central California (Santa Barbara County) up along the Pacific Coast of North America as far as southern Alaska; however, they have been introduced into freshwater habitats such as Lake Washington in Seattle and the lakes of Ontario.
The Coho is a schooling fish that migrates upstream to spawn in freshwater from December through April when they are usually found near rapids or turbulent waters. They range up into freshwater for some distance; occasionally as far as inland where tributaries enter larger rivers. When captured during this migration, Coho may be referred to as “spring salmon,” or simply “coho.”
Chum ‘Oncorhynchus keta’
Chum salmon are the third-largest species of Pacific salmon. They have a long life cycle and mature at three to five years old. The chum takes two to four years longer than other species of Pacific salmon before returning from the ocean, which is one reason for their large size: they grow an average length of 60 cm (24 in) and weigh up to 20 lb (about 25 kg).
The chum salmon’s flesh ranges from pink to red. They have comparatively little fat than other species of Pacific salmon, which is the reason their oil content is high: they produce 11% saturated, 57% monounsaturated, 22% polyunsaturated fats with a ratio of omega-six to omega-three fatty acids of 0.84:0.16, comparable to a 12% ratio in Atlantic salmon and 18% in sockeye salmon.
Chum are the most abundant species of Pacific Salmon along the North American coast from California northward, although they range as far south as Peru and Chile.
Chinook ‘Oncorhynchus tshawytscha’
The Chinook is the largest of all Pacific salmon species. They can grow to over 30 inches in length and weigh nearly 40 pounds. It has a large mouth, which it uses for catching its prey. The chinook’s diet consists mainly of fish such as anchovies, sardines, mackerels, and herrings that are smaller than themselves.
The chinook lives for an average of five to seven years, but it can live much longer in the ocean and grow as large as they need to be. Chinooks are sometimes hunted commercially because their meat is considered a delicacy by many people around the world. They also continue to provide sustenance for coastal Native American tribes.
The Chinook salmon is an economically important species, and it is also valued for its contribution to sustaining healthy ecosystems in the Pacific Ocean. The Chinook has a rich cultural significance as well; some Native American tribes have been known to travel up to 100 miles from their homes each year just so they can catch this particular type of fish.
Chinook salmon are an important species in the Pacific Ocean because they provide both economic and cultural benefits. They have a rich history, too – Native American tribes would travel as far as 100 miles from their homes to catch this fish for sustenance.
Steelhead ‘Oncorhynchus mykiss’
Steelhead is actually a rainbow trout that has been transplanted into saltwater and grows larger. They are native to the pacific ocean but were introduced into fresh water in California, Oregon, and Washington state as part of an effort to mitigate commercial fishing pressure for salmonids such as chinook or coho.
These steelhead species are protected and cannot be legally harvested. Steelhead is considered to be a subspecies of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, but they have been transplanted into saltwater and grown larger than their fresh-water relatives.
Cutthroat ‘Oncorhynchus clarki clarki’
The cutthroat is the smallest and most common of the Pacific salmon. It grows to about 33 inches in length with adults weighing from six pounds up to 12 pounds. The average life span for this species can vary, but on average they live five years. They spawn earlier than other Pacific salmon at lower elevations nearshore during the winter months.
The cutthroat is most closely related to the rainbow trout, brown trout, and lake trout. It was given its name due to a distinctive red coloration on their throats that extends from gills to jawline making it easy for anglers to identify them even when they are dead. These fish may live in lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters.
The cutthroat is pursued by a wide variety of fish species including other salmonids, trout, bass, walleye, pikeminnow (a small schooling fish) as well as seals and sea lions.
The Pacific salmon is a type of saltwater fish that lives in the waters off the coast of North America. There are five species within this group: Chinook, Sockeye, Pink, Coho, and Chum. Together these types make up about two-thirds of all ocean-caught salmon on Earth! This group is also the most economically important to North America.
Pacific Salmon Habitat
Pacific salmon live along coastlines near cold saltwater bodies such as bays and estuaries.
Pacific Salmon Diet
Pacific salmon eat mostly aquatic invertebrates such as shrimp, crabs, and clams. They will also target fish that swim near the surface of the water to feed on them or even small mammals like mice, voles, and shrews when they are close enough
Where do pacific salmon live?
Pacific salmon live in the ocean off of Canada, Alaska, and Washington. They migrate up from this place to spawn on freshwater rivers. Pacific salmon spawn at a time when water levels are low to ensure that their eggs will be submerged below an inch or two of river bottom sediment for about four months before hatching. The hatchlings are called “fry” and they are very vulnerable to predators.
Pacific salmon fish reproduction
Pacific Salmon are fish with a lot of reproductive power. They can reproduce up to three times in their lifespan, which is six years on average. A female will release tens of thousands of eggs at one time and the male releases his sperm over them.
The fertilized eggs then sink down into the depths where they then develop into embryos called “fry” for four or five months. Then, they will hatch and make their way to the ocean.
The fry is covered with a protective layer made out of mucus or slime when they’re born from their egg sac. The layer protects them from parasites and helps keep the fry afloat so they can be carried to a nearby stream or river with strong currents where they will grow up.
Pacific salmon life cycle
The pacific salmon are born in freshwater and spend their larva phase feeding on plankton, which is mostly algae. As they grow larger during this stage, they will move into saltwater to avoid predators like other fish that live in freshwater habitats as well as birds. The larvae then metamorphose into the juvenile phase where they begin eating smaller fish.
Adult pacific salmon will migrate inland to spawn, which they do in lakes and streams. As adults, their diet consists of small crustaceans like shrimp or other insects that live in freshwater habitats. Pacific salmons’ life cycle is typically three years long with two major phases: the first being a juvenile stage and the second being the adult stage.
Does Pacific salmon have parasites?
A parasite is an organism that lives on or in another organism, called a host, for its food. Parasites can be classified as ectoparasites (external parasites) and endoparasites (internal parasites). Pacific salmon contains both types of parasites. The most common external parasite found on the fish are leeches which attach themselves to the fish’s body and can be found in the ocean or along waterways. Pacific salmon also has endoparasites, such as tapeworm.
The common tapeworm is a flat segmented parasite that lives inside of its host and absorbs nutrients from it. Tapeworms live by consuming protein and fat before being excreted out of the fish’s body.
The Pacific salmon contains parasites like cestodes, nematodes, and trematodes that live in their intestine or on their skin. These endoparasites can infect other animals too including humans. Cestodes are known as tapeworms which grow by consuming protein and fat before being excreted out of the fish’s body.
Nematodes are worms that live in and around a host’s intestine, while trematode is a class of parasitic flatworms that have a life cycle with two different types of hosts (fish and people).
Pacific salmon vs. Atlantic salmon
Pacific salmon are the most popular type of fish in North America. They thrive on cold water and swim long distances upstream to spawn. Pacific salmon can be found all along the West Coast, from Alaska down to Mexico. In contrast, Atlantic Salmon live farther north than their cousins and prefer freshwater rivers or near-shore environments with cooler temperatures (although they can also be found in saltwater)
The two types of salmon are so different that they’re actually considered separate species by some biologists. Pacific Salmon have thin, red flesh because their diet is primarily made up of krill and other crustaceans instead of the protein-packed fish typical to Atlantic salmons.