Five species of pacific salmon frequent the waters of Haida Gwaii and the entire North Pacific Coast. The lives of the salmon are part of a great journey, beginning in the creeks and rivers where they hatch from eggs and eventually travel into the open waters of the North Pacific. Years later, they return to their place of birth, migrating upstream to spawn and die. Each species has a different cycle of birth, journey, spawning and renewal. They spend different lengths of time in fresh water as juveniles and in the ocean as adults, and they spawn in different kinds of streams and at different times of the year.
Five species of pacific salmon frequent the waters of Haida Gwaii and the entire North Pacific Coast. The lives of the salmon are part of a great journey, beginning in the creeks and rivers where they hatch from eggs and eventually travel into the open waters of the North Pacific. Years later, they return to their place of birth, migrating upstream to spawn and die. Each species has a different cycle of birth, journey, spawning and renewal. They spend different lengths of time in fresh water as juveniles and in the ocean as adults, and they spawn in different kinds of streams and at different times of the year.

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Animation

Salmon moving up stream.

Photo: Rob Wenner
c. 1998
© Rob Wenner


Salmon

Chinook or Spring Salmon, 'Oncorhynchus tshawytscha'

Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

© Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Salmon

Sockeye Salmon, 'Oncorhynchus nerka'

Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

© Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon, 'Oncorhynchus kisutch'

Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

© Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Salmon

Pink Salmon, 'Oncorhynchus gorbuscha'

Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

© Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


Salmon

Chum Salmon, 'Oncorhynchus keta'

Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

© Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe the five species of salmon that inhabit the North Pacific Coast
  • Describe, in simple terms, the life cycle of salmon
  • Recognize the five species of salmon that inhabit the North Pacific Coast by their appearance

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