SALMON SPECIES IN NANAIMO WATERS

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Identify your catch

Pacific salmon

Chinook salmon

chinook

Chum salmon

chum

Coho salmon

coho

Pink salmon

pink

Sockeye salmon

sockeye

Features of Pacific salmon

SpeciesMouthTailOther distinguishing featuresAge at maturityFreshwater markings
ChinookDark with black gums; large, sharp teethV-shaped, silvery; spots on both lobesLarge spots on back3 to 7 yearsBody turns olive brown to black
ChumWhite, tongue may be black; large teethNo spots, silver streaks covering about half of tail; narrow tail baseNo spots on back or tail; possible faint vertical bars on silver fish; white tip on anal fin3 to 5 yearsVertical bands on sides, may be reddish purple on male
CohoWhite, may have black edge, white gums; sharp, medium sized teethSquare, silver; some spots, usually on upper lobe; wide tail baseSpots on upper part of body3 yearsGreenish black head, red body
Pink salmonWhite with black gums; in marine areas, almost no teethV-shaped, no silver; large oval spots on both lobesLarge spots on back; smallest species2 yearsPronounced hump on male
Sockeye salmonWhite with white gum line; small teethModerately forked; no spotsNo spots on back or tail; prominent, glassy eyes4 to 5 yearsGreenish head, red body

Atlantic salmon

Report all captures of Atlantic salmon to: 1-800-811-6010 (toll-free).

Click thumbnail to enlarge image.

  • Atlantic salmon

Trout

SpeciesIdentifying features
Cutthroat Trout

Trout – Cutthroat

  • Large mouth extends well past eye
  • Teeth in throat, at back of tongue
  • Many spots from front to back
Steelhead Trout

Trout – Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

  • Slender lateral profile
  • Small black spots on back, uniform spots on square tail
  • No teeth in throat, at back of tongue
Dolly Varden Trout

Trout – Dolly Varden

  • Small head
  • Oval, snakelike body
  • White leading edges on low

http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/points/salmon-saumon-eng.html

Salmon Identification

Gear

In tidal waters

  • Barbless hooks are required for all salmon and sea-run trout fishing. Treble barbless hooks are acceptable in most areas; however, single barbless hooks are required in many tidal areas of coastal rivers and in areas requiring special management measures.
  • If you pinch a barbed hook, the barb must be crimped flat against the shaft. Partially crimped barbs are not allowed.
  • In tidal waters, there’s no limit to the number of fishing rods you can use. In rivers and streams, including the tidal waters of the Fraser River, there’s a limit of one rod per angler.
  • It is illegal to angle with a fishing line that has more than one hook, artificial lure or artificial fly attached except:
    • in the tidal waters of the Fraser River, where you can attach two hooks, artificial lures or artificial flies to a bar rig.
    • in tidal waters, where you can attach any number of hooks to a fishing line if using the hooks in combination to hold a single piece of bait and if they’re not arranged so as to catch more than one fish. This does not apply in areas restricted to the use of only one single barbless hook.
  • It is illegal to fish with a fixed weight (sinker) greater than 1 kg except on a downrigger line, in which case the fishing line must be attached to the downrigger by a release clip.
  • It is illegal to sport fish with nets, including dip nets, minnow nets, gillnets or cast nets

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