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Salmonzilla Facts

Zeb trying to hold on to a Chinook salmon.

Zeb trying to hold on to a Chinook salmon. (View larger version)

Photograph by Josh Thomas

  • Salmon can jump up to 6.5 feet.

  • Each chinook female deposits between 3,000 and 14,000 eggs in several gravel nests.

  • The largest salmon on record is a Chinook salmon that weighed 57 kilograms.

  • The longest known trip ever taken by a salmon upriver was a chinook salmon that traveled 3,845 km to spawn.

  • Young chinooks have parr marks: the stage between fry and smolt. These are marks on their sides that camouflage them.

  • Chinook salmon are native to more than 1,000 rivers and streams in North America.

  • Chinook can live up to nine years in age.

  • Juvenile chinook may spend from 3 months to 2 years in freshwater before migrating to estuarine areas as smolts and then into the ocean to feed and mature.

  • A salmon’s sense of smell is more sensitive than a dog or a bear.

  • Pheromones, or chemical cues, guide salmon allowing them to find their birth streams.

  • Less than two percent of salmon hatched in redds will return to spawn.

  • Chinook travel more than 16,000 km in the Pacific Ocean before they return to spawn.

  • In the last 25 years, chinook harvesting has dropped 96% due to the need to protect declining runs.

  • There are six stages of a salmon's life cycle: eggs, alevin, fry, smolt, adult, and spawners.

  • Small chinook salmon that mature after spending only one winter in the ocean are commonly referred to as "jacks," and are typically male.

  • The condition of chinook salmon deteriorates during spawning because they do not feed and instead use stored nutrients for energy.