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Pink Salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha


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Pink Salmon
credit: Timothy Knepp

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Alternate name: Humpback

Family: Salmonidae, Trouts view all from this family

Description Pink salmon or humpback salmon, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, (from a Russian name for this species gorbuöa, горбуша) is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family. It is the smallest and most abundant of the Pacific salmon.

In the ocean, pink salmon are bright silver fish. After returning to their spawning stream, their coloring changes to pale grey on the butt with yellowish white belly (although some turn an overall dull green color). As with all salmon, in addition to the dorsal fin they also have an adipose fin. The fish is characterized by a white mouth with black gums, no teeth on the tongue, large oval-shaped black spots on the back and v-shaped tail, and an anal fin with 13-17 soft rays. During their spawning migration, males develop a pronounced humped back, hence their nickname "humpies". Pink salmon average 4.8 pounds (2.2 kg) in weight. The maximum recorded size was 30 inches (76 cm) and 15 pounds (6.8 kg).

Dimensions Up to 30" (76 cm); 14 lb (6.3 kg).

Habitat Ocean or bay shallows, Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Rivers & streams.

Range Great Lakes, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Alaska.