Moose & Weasel’s PALS
All five species are part of the Oncorhynchus genus (or group). This means “hook nose” in Latin!
Pacific salmon are born in freshwater rivers, streams and lakes. They grow up a tiny bit, then follow the current all the way down to the open ocean. They spend most of their lives in salt water, eating and growing some more, until they’re ready to become mature or they reach adulthood. Then, they literally follow their noses, gathering chemical information in the water that guides them all the way back to the exact spot where they were born. When they get there, they will spawn (that is, mate) and die. Some may travel as much as 3,000 kilometres on this migration. That’s like driving halfway across Canada!
Size and colour
The smallest species of Pacific salmon is the Pink Salmon, which weighs a bit more than two kilograms on average, and the largest is the Chinook Salmon, which can weigh as much as 50 kilograms! Each one of the five species is unique and has a different colour and shape.