Pink Salmon


Pink Salmon

Oncorhynchus gorbuscha

Pinks are the smallest and shortest-lived of the five Pacific salmon species. What they lack in longevity and size, however, they make up in numbers: pinks are the most abundant salmon species. They hatch in fresh water, spend part of their life feeding in the ocean and then “run” back to their natal rivers to spawn and die after only two years. They range from northern California around the Pacific Rim to Russia, Korea and Japan.

The most distinctive feature of a Pink is a hump on its back which grows more pronounced with age and which gives it its nickname “humpback” salmon, or simply “humpies.” Pinks have shiny silvery skin with a bluish back, very small scales and large, black spots on their tail. They have an average weight of only 4 pounds (2 kg). These salmon also get their name from their delicate pink fillets, the palest of the salmon species.

Pink Salmon

Pinks are unique in that they have a short, two-year lifespan. They are found in streams and rivers from California north to the Mackenzie River, with their principal spawning areas between Puget Sound, Washington, and Bristol Bay, Alaska. Pinks migrate to their home stream from July to October, and while some go a considerable distance upstream, the majority spawns close to the sea. Young Pink fry enter the ocean immediately after they emerge from the gravel in the spring. After a few days to several months in the estuary and near-shore zone, they move out into the open ocean in large schools. Despite their short life and small size, the migrations of Pink salmon are extensive, covering thousands of kilometres from their home streams. While feeding and maturing, Pinks are dispersed throughout the Pacific Ocean from northern California to the Bering Sea. During fall and winter, they spend more time in the southern parts of their range.

Fishing Methods

Pink Salmon Food Info