Pacific salmon are of immense cultural, ecological and economic importance to the west coast of North America. They are the most commonly seen fish on the western side of North America but identifying among the seven species is difficult for most of their life stages. Two salmon researchers have worked extensively in the field with this iconic group of fish and have developed the first comprehensive field identification guide for Pacific salmon in a functional format. This guide presents information and identifying characteristics for the seven Pacific salmon species—sockeye, coho, Chinook, pink, chum, steelhead and coastal cutthroat—across five life stages, with strong emphasis on detailed and intuitive illustrations.
This guide is an identification resource that includes natural history, life stage descriptions and conservation status of Pacific salmon and how to observe these fish in the wild. The identification portions are organized into five life stages: fry, smolt, post smolt, ocean adult and spawner. The many scientific illustrations for each species are drawn from real specimens representative of their species and life stage. Joseph Tomelleri, who drew all the brilliant illustrations in this book, painstakingly measured every part of each fish, counting every fin ray and row of scales while layering colour upon colour. In addition, dozens of photos show these fish in incredible detail.