Moose & Weasel’s PALS

Wild - - INSIDE - by An­nie Lan­glois

Sci­en­tific name

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.

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