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Pink salmon identification

Pink salmon identification

Pink salmon
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha

Pink salmon - Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
Pink salmon, also called "humpies," are the smallest of the Pacific salmon. They are usually found in streams and rivers that connect directly to salt water (with no lakes in between). But, pink salmon sometimes "stray" and can be seen spawning in creeks that you wouldn't expect! If you see a salmon, here's some tips to use to determine whether or not it's a pink salmon...

Photos from Inland Fishes of Washington by Whitney and Wydoski, © 1979 University of Washington Press. Reprinted by permission of the University of Washington Press.

Adult Male Pink Salmon.
Adult Female Pink Salmon.

Identification characteristics:

  • Rare in Lake Washington Watershed
  • Oval-shaped black spots on back and caudal fin
  • Males have very large humpback
  • Tail is very forked
  • Range in length from 14 to 30 inches

Spawn timing:

  • August through October only in ODD-numbered years in our area

Now that you know all about identifying salmon in streams, test yourself! Click on the mystery fish page to find out more!