Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Walbaum, 1792)
member of the Salmon Family (Salmonidae)
Adak Island, Alaska September 1982
photo by Mary Stefansky
In a Name?
Do They Live?
The pink salmon is an introduced exotic species. Like the coho and chinook salmon, pink salmon normally live in the Pacific Ocean and spawn in the streams of eatern Russia and north western United States. In Minnesota, pink salmon live in Lake Superior, usually in the upper 20-m of the water column. When they are ready to spawn, they move into streams along the North Shore.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Young salmon eat sideswimmers, waterfleas, and other small crustaceans. Juveniles and adults in the lake add small fish and opossum shrimp (a crustacean) to their diet.
Do They Reproduce?
The embryos develop through the fall and early winter and hatch during January and February depending on water temperature. The hatchlings, called alevins (free-swimming embryos), remain in the gravel for 3-4 months living off their large yolk sacs and developing their fins. Once their fins are developed they swim up into the current and drift downstream, eventually reaching the lake in April and May. They spend 2 growing seasons in Lake Superior before returning to spawn.
Permission is granted for the non-commercial educational or scientific use of the text and images on this Web document. Please credit the author or authors listed below.
Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Ted Halpern ,Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 23 October 2002