Overview

Brief Summary

The pink salmon, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, also often called humpback salmon or humpy, is the smallest and most common of the “true” salmon native to the North Pacific (genus Oncorhynchus). Like all the pacific salmon, it is anadromous, returning to freshwater streams to spawn (not always its natal stream, however) after spending 18 months feeding and maturing at sea. Males develop a hump as a secondary sexual characteristic upon returning to streams to spawn, hence its common name. Adults die after spawning. Pink salmon have a two-year life-cycle. Because of this, some rivers produce salmon on even years, some on an “odd” schedule; these populations do not interbreed. Genetic studies indicate that even and odd spawning strains in some rivers have become genetically isolated lines (Heard 1991). Though some strains are imperiled or have been extirpated in California and Washington, NOAA indicates that Pacific Northwest humpback populations are generally healthy, and Alaskan populations are abundant and sustainably harvested under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Pink salmon is most commonly sold canned. In addition to its native distribution across the North Pacific and Bering Sea from southern California to North East Asia, the pink salmon is also found in the Great Lakes, where the species was accidentally introduced in 1956. (Heard 1991; NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service Fishwatch; Pacific Salmon Commission; Wikipedia 2012)

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Comprehensive Description

Biology

An anadromous species which inhabits ocean and coastal streams (Ref. 5723). Epipelagic (Ref. 58426). Pelagic at the sea. In freshwater, lives in montane and piedmont rivers with moderate to fast current and gravel bottom. Spawns in riffles or at head of riffles in shallow water with current up to 1.5 m/s, and clean coarse gravel (Ref. 59043). Spends 18 months at sea after which spawning migration to the natal river or stream occurs; but because the species is less certain of its homing and there is a certain degree of wandering, streams as much as 640 km from natal streams may be used (Ref. 1998, 27547). Upon emerging from the gravel, fry immediately move downstream and remain inshore for a few months before going out to sea. Fry may feed on nymphal and larval insects while in fresh water, but may not feed at all. In the sea, young feed on copepods and larvacean tunicates, its diet shifting to amphipods, euphausiids and fishes as the fish grows (Ref. 27547). Other food include ostracods, decapod larvae, cirripeds, tunicates, dipterous insects (Ref. 1998, 27547). Fry may be preyed upon by birds and mammals while adults by marine mammals and large fish (Ref. 1998). Mostly sold canned (Ref. 1998) but also utilized fresh, smoked, and frozen; also valued for caviar, especially in Japan; eaten steamed, fried, broiled, boiled, microwaved, and baked (Ref. 9988). The smallest of the true salmon (Ref. 12218). The Alaska Salmon fishery of this species has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (http://www.msc.org/) as well-managed and sustainable (http://www.msc.org/html/content_485.htm).
  • Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)
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Distribution

Native of the North Pacific, introduced into the Atlantic regions of Maine and Newfoundland.
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: During ocean feeding and maturation, pink salmon range throughout the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea north of about 40 degrees north latitude. Populations originating from different coastal regions of the North Pacific occupy distinct ocean nursery areas. The range shifts southward for winter, northward in warmer months (Heard 1991).

Spawning occurs in most tributary rivers of northeastern Asia (Korea to Siberia) and in North America from California and Oregon (rare in these states) north to the Aleutian Islands and Mackenzie River delta, Arctic and Pacific drainages. Arctic populations do not appear to be self-sustaining but may be expanding and so warrant monitoring. The species has been introduced in the Great Lakes, Newfoundland, and several European areas.

In the southern part of the range, the most significant runs are in streams tributary to Puget Sound. This salmon has been recorded from various streams in northern California, but spawning in California has been rarely observed and only in the lower Russian River. Many recent sightings of adults in California may be represent strays from rivers to the north (Nehlsen et al. 1991).

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Arctic and Pacific drainages from Mackenzie River delta, Northwest Territories, Canada to Sacramento River drainage, in California, USA; occasionally as far as La Jolla, southern California; also in northeast Asia (Ref. 5723). On Asia side, from North Korea to Jana and Lena drainages in Artic Russia. In Bering Sea north of about 40°N and from Bering Strait northeast to Point Barrow and northwest to Lena estuary (Ref. 59043). Introduced elsewhere. Occasionally hybridizes with Oncorhynchus keta producing fertile offspring (Ref. 28983).
  • Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)
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North Pacific and Arctic and adjacent basins.
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Introduced to Maine rivers. Pacific: northern Asia to Oregon.The most abundant salmon in Alaska. During the spawning season, salmon runs occur up rivers.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Chyung, M.-K., 1977; Morrow, J.E., 1980; Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991; Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman, 1973.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 - 15; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 11 - 19; Vertebrae: 63 - 72
  • Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman 1973 Freshwater fishes of Canada. Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can. 184:1-966. (Ref. 1998)
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Size

Length: 61 cm

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Maximum size: 760 mm TL
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Max. size

76.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9015)); max. published weight: 6,800 g (Ref. 27436); max. reported age: 3 years (Ref. 27547)
  • Anonymous 1994 U. S. GLOBEC - Global ocean ecosystems dynamics, a component of the U. S. Global Change Research Program. Eastern Boundary Current Program-A Science Plan for the California Current, Rep. No. 11, August. (Ref. 9015)
  • Lamb, A. and P. Edgell 1986 Coastal fishes of the Pacific northwest. Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd., B.C., Canada. 224 p. (Ref. 27436)
  • Morrow, J.E. 1980 The freshwater fishes of Alaska. University of. B.C. Animal Resources Ecology Library. 248p. (Ref. 27547)
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to 76.0 cm TL; max.weight: 6,800.0 g.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Chyung, M.-K., 1977; Morrow, J.E., 1980; Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991; Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman, 1973.
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Diagnostic Description

Distinguished by the presence of large black spots on the back and on both lobes of the caudal fin; the young have no parr marks (Ref. 27547). Body fusiform, streamlined, somewhat laterally compressed; moderately, deeper in breeding males (Ref. 1998). Mouth terminal, normally very little oblique but greatly deformed in breeding males, with lower jaw enlarged, turned up at tip, mouth unable to close (Ref. 1998). Adipose fin large; pelvic fins with axillary process (Ref. 27547). Fish in the sea are steel blue to blue-green on the back, silver on the sides and white on the belly; large oval spots present on the back, adipose fin and both lobes of the caudal fin (Ref. 27547). Breeding males become dark on the back, red with brownish green blotches on the sides; breeding females are similar but less distinctly colored (Ref. 27547). Differs from Oncorhynchus mykiss by having the following unique characters: anal fin with 11-15½ (usually 13½ ) branched rays; 177-240 scales in midlateral row; 26-33 gill rakers; large mature males with enormous hump; juveniles lacking parr marks; and lacking pink to red stripe on flank (Ref. 59043).
  • Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman 1973 Freshwater fishes of Canada. Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can. 184:1-966. (Ref. 1998)
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Ecology

Habitat

Amur River Demersal Habitat

This taxon is one of a number of demersal species in the Amur River system. Demersal river fish are found at the river bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton

The persistence of mercury contamination in Amur River bottom sediments is a major issue, arising from historic cinnabar mining in the basin and poor waste management practises, especially in the communist Soviet era, where industrial development was placed ahead of sound conservation practises.

The largest native demersal fish species in the Amur River is the 560 centimeter (cm) long kaluga (Huso dauricus); demersal biota are those that inhabit the bottom of a surface water body. Another large demersal fish found in the Amur is the 300 cm Amur sturgeon (Acipenser schrenckii), a taxon which is endemic to the Amur basin.

Other demersal endemic fish species (all in the concubitae family) of the Amur Basin are Iksookimia longicorpa, I. koreensis, I. hugowolfeldi, Cobitis melanoleuca melanoleuca and the Puan spine loach (Iksookimia pumila).

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Known from seamounts and knolls
  • Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication.
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benthic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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anadromous species; born in the river, migrates to sea as adults and returns to spawn
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: Adults spend most of their lives (about 18 months) at sea. Spawning occurs in rivers and tributary streams, in lower tidal areas in some rivers. After juveniles emerge from gravel (in April-May), they immediately move downstream to estuary. Young fish may be found in inshore waters for several months before they move to sea (Scott and Crossman 1973). Introduced population in Great Lakes is unique in completing life cycle entirely in fresh water.

Spawns in gravel of rivers and tributary streams, generally in tidal portion or lower reaches of natal stream (generally within a few kilometers of the sea). Spawning female excavates several redds, or nests, that each may be 3 ft long and 1.5 ft deep in about 1-2 ft of water (Scott and Crossman 1973). Female covers redd after egg deposition.

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Environment

demersal; anadromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 250 m (Ref. 50550)
  • Fedorov, V.V., I.A. Chereshnev, M.V. Nazarkin, A.V. Shestakov and V.V. Volobuev 2003 Catalog of marine and freswater fishes of the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Vladivostok: Dalnauka, 2003. 204 p. (Ref. 50550)
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Depth range based on 30 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 174.5
  Temperature range (°C): -0.321 - 7.443
  Nitrate (umol/L): 3.638 - 26.963
  Salinity (PPS): 30.327 - 33.771
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.157 - 7.860
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.021 - 2.219
  Silicate (umol/l): 18.279 - 40.988

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 174.5

Temperature range (°C): -0.321 - 7.443

Nitrate (umol/L): 3.638 - 26.963

Salinity (PPS): 30.327 - 33.771

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.157 - 7.860

Phosphate (umol/l): 1.021 - 2.219

Silicate (umol/l): 18.279 - 40.988
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 0 - 250m.
Recorded at 250 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Demersal; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 250 m. Spends 18 months at sea after which spawning migration to the natal river or stream occurs; but because the species is less certain of its homing and there is a certain degree of wandering, streams as much as 640 km from natal streams may be used. Upon emerging from the gravel, fry immediately move downstream and remain inshore for a few months before going out to sea.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Chyung, M.-K., 1977; Morrow, J.E., 1980; Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991; Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman, 1973.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Anadromous. Prior to spawning most adults return to the river, or tributary, in which they hatched (there is some possibly contradictory evidience from Russia). Adults move into fresh water June-September, depending on latitude. Freshwater migrations generally are less extensive than are those of other Pacific salmon (Heard 1991).

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Anadromous. Fish that ascend rivers to spawn, as salmon and hilsa do. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Trophic Strategy

Anadromous (Ref. 5951). The young migrate seaward (Ref. 9043). Epipelagic (Ref. 58426). Spends 18 months at sea after which spawning migration to the natal river or stream occurs; but because the species is less certain of its homing and there is a certain degree of wandering, streams as much as 640 km from natal streams may be used (Ref. 1998, 27547). Upon emerging from the gravel, fry immediately move downstream and remain inshore for a few months before going out to sea (Ref. 27547). Fry may feed on nymphal and larval insects while in fresh water, but may not feed at all. In the sea, young feed on copepods and larvacean tunicates, its diet shifting to amphipods, euphausiids and fishes as the fish grows (Ref. 27547). Other food include ostracods, decapod larvae, cirripeds, tunicates, dipterous insects and planktonic organisms (Ref. 1998, 13434, 27547). Fry may be preyed upon by birds and mammals while adults by marine mammals and large fish (Ref. 1998).
  • Shershnev, A.P., V.V. Chupakhin and V.A. Rudnev 1982 Ecology of juvenile pink salmon, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Salmonidae), from Sakhalin and Iturup Islands during the marine period of life. J. Ichthyol. 22(3):90-97.
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Comments: Migratory fry usually do not feed, but if they are traveling long distances they eat aquatic insect larvae. Juveniles schooling in estuaries feed on zooplankton. At sea, juveniles eats small crustaceans and other invertebrates. Adult diet includes mainly fishes, squid, euphausiids, amphipods, and copepods (Moyle et al. 1989).

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Fry in fresh water may not feed or may feed on insect nymphs. Young in the sea, feed on copepods and larvacean (tunicate larvae), but as the fish grows amphipods, euphausiids and fishes are taken. Other food includes ostracods, decapod larvae, cirriped larvae, dipterous insects.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Chyung, M.-K., 1977; Morrow, J.E., 1980; Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991; Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman, 1973.
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: In a survey of populations in the contiguous U.S., Huntington et al. (1996) identified only five healthy native stocks, all in Washington.

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Global Abundance

10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Comments: The most abundant of the seven species of Pacific salmon (Heard 1991).

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General Ecology

Abundance of spawning populations may differ greatly between years. For example, in the Fraser River in British Columbia, the odd-year run includes nearly 20 million adults whereas the even-year run is virtually nonexistent (Beacham et al. 1994). However, this pattern is not evident in all river systems.

Young form schools in estuaries before moving out to sea. Predators of young salmon include: cutthroat and rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, kingfishers, mergansers, etc.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Diet

Feeds on insects, copepods, tunicates, amphipods, euphausiids and fishes
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Life Cycle

Adults develop secondary sexual characteristics during their upstream migration (Ref. 1998), which occurs any time from June to late September, depending on location (Ref. 27547). Male develop a humpback, an enlarged head and large teeth on both jaws that form a pronounced hooked type (Ref. 59043). The upstream run seems to be triggered by high water (Ref. 27547). Female builds the redd by lying on one side and using its tail, it displaces silt and light gravel to produce a deep trough. Male spends most of the time driving off intruding males. When the redd is completed, the female drops into it, followed immediately by the male. They open their mouths, vibrate and release eggs and sperm. In some cases, several males spawn with a single female. The eggs are then covered as the female digs a new redd at the upstream edge of the previous one. Adults live up to a few weeks after spawning before they die (Ref. 1998, 27547). Reported to die 10-20 days after spawning (Ref. 59043). About 1200-1800 eggs are laid. After hatching and the yellow egg yolk is absorbed, if the hatchling doesn't have a parr mark they go to the ocean and come again to the same birthplace stream the next year during spring after growing for 16-18 months. Survival rates are low, at 1-25% (taken from a Canadian river) (Ref. 12218). Reproductive strategy: synchronous ovarian organization, determinate fecundity (Ref. 51846).
  • Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman 1973 Freshwater fishes of Canada. Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can. 184:1-966. (Ref. 1998)
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Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 3 years (wild) Observations: As in other species of salmon, these animals age and die shortly after spawning. It is not considered ageing but rather sudden death.
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Reproduction

Spawning males defend territories. Spawns usually mid-July to late October (also reported as August-November). Eggs hatch usually from late December-late February, depending on water temperature (Scott and Crossman 1973). Fry usually migrate downstream April-May. Adults die soon after spawning. Two-year life cycle (with rare exceptions). In the Dungeness River in Washington, there is a unique upriver and early spawning stock and a typical lower river late-spawning stock (see Nehlsen et al. 1991). See Stearley (1992) for a discussion of the historical ecology and life history evolution of Pacific salmons and trouts (ONCORHYNCHUS).

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From June to late September, adults migrate upstream as develop secondary sexual characteristics are developed. The spine curves to a humpback, and the jaw lengthens. The timing of the migration depends on location and may be correlated with high water. During September to November in the headwaters of rivers, females build a redd, a deep trough, by displacing sand and gravel with their tail as they lie on one side. Males defend the female from other males. He follows the female into the redd after she drops into it, and with open mouths, the male and female will vibrate and release eggs and sperm. Several males may spawn with a single female. The female digs a new redd at the upstream edge of the previous redd thereby covering the fertilized eggs in the previously made redd. About 1200-1800 eggs are laid. After the yellow egg yolk is absorbed, the eggs hatch. Hatchings without a parr mark go to the ocean and grow for 16 to 18 months before returning to the same birthplace stream the following year. Survivorships rates are low. (For a Canadian river, survivorship is 1 - 25%). Adults live only a few weeks after they spawn.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Chyung, M.-K., 1977; Morrow, J.E., 1980; Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991; Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman, 1973.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Oncorhynchus gorbuscha

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 65 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACACGATGATTCTTCTCAACCAACCACAAAGACATTGGCACCCTCTATTTAGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGGATAGTAGGCACCGCCCTA---AGCCTACTAATTCGGGCAGAACTAAGCCAGCCAGGCGCTCTTCTAGGGAAT---GACCAGATCTATAACGTAATCGTTACAGCCCATGCCTTCGTTATGATTTTCTTTATAGTCATACCAATTATAATCGGAGGCTTTGGAAACTGATTAATCCCCCTAATG---ATCGGGGCACCAGATATAGCATTTCCACGAATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTCCTGCCCCCATCCTTCCTCCTCCTCCTTTCTTCATCTGGAGTCGAAGCCGGCGCTGGTACCGGATGGACAGTTTATCCCCCTCTAGCCGGGAACCTTGCCCACGCAGGAGCATCCGTCGACTTA---ACTATCTTCTCCCTTCATTTAGCTGGAATCTCATCAATTTTAGGGGCCATTAATTTTATTACGACCATTATCAACATAAAACCACCGGCAATCTCTCAGTACCAAACCCCACTTTTTGTTTGAGCTGTGCTAATTACTGCTGTACTTCTACTACTATCCCTCCCCGTTCTGGCAGCA---GGTATCACTATGTTGCTTACGGACCGAAATTTAAACACTACTTTCTTTGACCCAGCGGGGGGCGGAGATCCAATTTTATACCAACACCTCTTTTGATTCTTCGGTCACCCAGAAGTATATATTCTTATCCTTCCAGGCTTTGGCATAATTTCACACATCGTTGCATACTACTCCGGTAAGAAA---GAACCCTTCGGGTACATGGGAATAGTATGAGCTATAATGGCCATCGGCTTGTTAGGATTTATCGTTTGAGCCCACCACATGTTCACTGTCGGGATGGACGTGGACACTCGTGCCTACTTCACATCTGCCACCATAATTATCGCTATCCCCACAGGAGTAAAAGTATTTAGCTGACTA---GCTACACTACACGGAGGC---TCGATCAAATGAGAGACACCACTTCTCTGAGCCCTAGGATTTATCTTCCTATTTACAGTGGGCGGGCTTACGGGCATCGTCCTTGCTAACTCTTCATTAGACATTGTTTTACATGACACTTATTACGTAGTCGCCCATTTCCACTACGTA---CTATCGATAGGAGCTGTATTTGCCATTATAGGCGCTTTCGTACACTGATTCCCCCTATTTACAGGGTTCACCCTTCACAGCACGTGAACCAAAATCCATTTTGGAATTATATTTATTGGTGTAAATTTAACCTTCTTCCCACAACACTTCCTAGGCCTCGCAGGGATACCACGA---CGGTACTCTGACTACCCGGACGCCTATACG---CTATGAAACACTGTGTCCTCAATCGGATCCCTTGTCTCCTTAGTAGCTGTAATTATGTTCCTATTTATTCTTTGAGAGGCTTTTGCTGCCAAACGAGAAGTA---GCATCAATCGAAATAACTTCAACTAAC
-- end --

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Oncorhynchus gorbuscha

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 62
Specimens with Barcodes: 77
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Still widespread and locally common around the margins of the North Pacific Ocean.

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Threats

Degree of Threat: D : Unthreatened throughout its range, communities may be threatened in minor portions of the range or degree of variation falls within natural variation

Comments: See GTRENDCOM. Tolerates a surprising amount of disturbance in spawning habitat.

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Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Management Requirements: See Beacham et al. (1994) for information on altering the time of reproductive maturation in captives; this method may be useful in developing a run of even-year pink salmon in the rivers such as the Fraser River where presently the odd-year run is large and the even-year run is virtually nonexistent.

Allendorf et al. (1997) proposed criteria for prioritizing Pacific salmon stocks for conservation; data limitations introduce subjectivity into the process, so expert judgment and peer review should be incorporated into the process.

Biological Research Needs: Determine genetic relationships among different spawning populations.

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Needs: Protect and provide adequate flows to areas where spawning is observed. See Nehlsen et al. (1991) for general management and protection recommendations for anadromous salmonids. Meffe (1992) gave reasons why the hatchery approach to recovery ultimately will fail, and he emphasized that overharvest and habitat destruction need to be addressed in a major landscape-level effort.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; price category: low; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1992 FAO yearbook 1990. Fishery statistics. Catches and landings. FAO Fish. Ser. (38). FAO Stat. Ser. 70:(105):647 p. (Ref. 4931)
  • Garibaldi, L. 1996 List of animal species used in aquaculture. FAO Fish. Circ. 914. 38 p. (Ref. 12108)
  • International Game Fish Association 1991 World record game fishes. International Game Fish Association, Florida, USA. (Ref. 4699)
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Wikipedia

Pink salmon

"Haddo" redirects here. For the Scottish stately home, see Haddo House.
Male spawning phase pink salmon
Pink salmon caught by fly fishers in its freshwater spawning phase

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

Appearance[edit]

In the ocean, pink salmon are bright silver fish. After returning to their spawning streams, their coloring changes to pale grey on the back 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, a 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.[1] The maximum recorded size was 30 inches (76 cm) and 15 pounds (6.8 kg).[2]

Reproduction[edit]

See also: Salmon run

Pink salmon in their native range have a strict two year life cycle, thus odd- and even-year populations do not interbreed. In the state of Washington, Pink salmon runs occur on odd years.[3] Adult pink salmon enter spawning streams from the ocean, usually returning to the water course, or race, where they originated. Spawning occurs between late June and mid-October, in coastal streams and some longer rivers, and in the intertidal zone or at the mouth of streams if hyporheic freshwater is available. Using her tail, the female digs a trough-shaped nest, called a redd (Scandinavian word for "nest"), in the gravel of the stream bed, wherein she deposits her eggs. As she expels the eggs, she is approached by one or more males, which fertilize them as they fall into the redd. Subsequently, the female covers the newly deposited zygotes, again with thrusts of her tail, against the gravel at the top of the redd. The female lays from 1000 to 2000 eggs in several clutches within the redd, often fertilized by different males. Females guard their redds until death, which comes within days of spawning. In dense populations, a major source of mortality for embryos is superposition of redds by later-spawning fish. The eggs hatch from December to February, depending on water temperature, and the juveniles emerge from the gravel during March and April and quickly migrate downstream to estuaries, at about one-quarter gram in weight. The fish achieve sexual maturity in their second year of life. They return to freshwater in the summer or autumn as two-year-old adults. Pink and chum salmon sometimes interbreed in nature to form the hybrid known as the miko salmon; the hybrids are reproductively sterile.

Parental Care[edit]

The gender that cares for the young depends on which has the most to gain from successful parenting, or in terms of fitness, which sex’s fitness will benefit the most from caring for the young. The overall fitness associated with raising the young is determined not only by the propagation of one’s genes, but also by incurring the least loss in terms of energy and effort for the caretaker. The benefits for each of the sexes are the same due to the greater chance of genes being passed down to future generations, but the costs for each sex are different.[4]

Species can either be semelparous, meaning they have a single reproductive cycle before dying, or iteroparous, meaning they have multiple reproductive episodes throughout their lifetime. In semelparous species, females will guard their redds from other females. In iteroparous species, females will leave their redds quickly after spawning.[5] Pink salmon are part of the genus Oncorhynchus, or Pacific salmon. In the genus Oncorhynchus, females are semelparous, whereas males are iteroparous. Therefore for female pink salmon, it benefits them to care for their eggs, because no more opportunities to breed exist in the future. Thus, it is in the female’s best interest to make sure all of the children thrive successfully. However, there exists a cost for a male pink salmon who chooses to engage in parental care; males would lose out on more chances to mate, and thus, miss opportunities to pass on their genes. Because of these associated costs and benefits, female pink salmon have evolved to protect their eggs until they die, whereas males will pursue other opportunities to mate.[4]

Habitat[edit]

Pink salmon are coldwater fish with a preferred temperature range of 5.6 to 14.6°C, an optimal temperature of 10.1°C, and an upper incipient lethal temperature of 25.8°C. The species is native to Pacific and Arctic coastal waters from the Sacramento River in northern California to the Mackenzie River in Canada; and in the west from the Lena River in Siberia to Korea. Populations in Asia occur as far south as Honshu in Japan. Pink salmon were introduced into the Great Lakes and in Iran.[citation needed]

Conservation status[edit]

NatureServe lists the pink salmon as critically imperiled in California, and imperiled in Washington. In Alaska and British Columbia, they are considered secure.[6] No Pink salmon Evolutionary Significant Units are listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Commerce[edit]

The commercial harvest of pink salmon is a mainstay of fisheries of both the eastern and western North Pacific; over 100 million have been taken in recent annual harvests in Alaska alone.[7] More than 20 million harvested pink salmon are produced by fishery-enhancement hatcheries, particularly in the northern Gulf of Alaska.[8] Pink salmon are not grown in significant numbers in fish farms. The fish are often canned, smoked or salted. Pink salmon roe is also produced commercially for caviar, a particularly valuable product in Asia.

Beginning in the late 19th century, fish traps were used to supply fish for commercial canning and salting. The industry expanded steadily until 1920. During the 1940s and 1950s, pink salmon populations declined drastically. Fish traps were prohibited in Alaska in 1959. Now, most pink salmon are taken with purse seines, drift nets or gillnets. Populations and harvests increased rapidly after the mid-1970s and have been at record high numbers since the 1980s.

"Salmon pink" is a color named for the typically pink color of this fish's flesh. The color derives from their diet, which includes shrimp and krill.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fisheries and Oceans Canada species account Retrieved 2007 October 16
  2. ^ Fishbase species account Retrieved 2007 October 16
  3. ^ http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/pink.html
  4. ^ a b Mart R. Gross (March 2005). "The Evolution of Parental Care". The Quarterly Review of Biology. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  5. ^ P. Bentzen, J. B. Olsen, J. E. McLean, T. R. Seamons, and T. P. Quinn (2001). "Kinship Analysis of Pacific Salmon: Insights Into Mating, Homing, and Timing of Reproduction". The Journal of Heredity. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  6. ^ Oncorhynchus gorbuscha NatureServe conservation status
  7. ^ excerpts from Woodby et al. Commercial Fisheries in Alaska June 2005. Retrieved 2007 October 16
  8. ^ Salmon Enhancement and Hatcheries Retrieved 2007 October 16

References[edit]

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Because of the fixed two-year life cycle, individuals spawning in a particular river system in odd and even years are reproductively isolated from each other and have developed into genetically different lines; in some river systems, such as the Fraser River in British Columbia, only the odd-year line exists in significant numbers; in Bristol Bay, Alaska, the major runs occur in even years (areas in between have runs in both even and odd years) (Heard 1991). An electrophoretic study by Varnavskaya and Beacham (1992) found that "pink salmon from the Fraser River and southern British Columbia were distinct from more northerly spawning populations in British Columbia, Alaska, and Kamchatka. The concept of a 'fluctuating stock' population structure of pink salmon or ramdom mixing during spawning over a large geographic area was not supported by observed patterns of genetic variation." In Russia, in contrast, lack of distinct stocks in different areas has been inferred from the lack of biochemical genetic differention detected in some surveys (see Varnavskaya and Beacham 1992).

Has hybridized with chinook salmon in the St. Marys River, Michigan (Rosenfield 1998).

Phylogenetic analysis based on mtDNA data indicates a sister relationship between pink salmon and chum salmon (Domanico and Phillips 1995).

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