Pink Salmon’s scientific name is derived from the russian name, gorbua, which means salmon.

Sometimes the translation is a bit of a let down. I myself was looking for something a little more interesting.

The Pink Salmon is a sea going salmon. It is one of the most abundant of the pacific salmon. However, there are areas where the Pink Salon is threatened. More of that below.

Common Pink Salmon Nicknames

The Pink Salmon goes by many other names. One of the most common is the humpback. Here are some others: humpback salmon, humpy, fall salmon and pink.

Pink Salmon Distribution

The pink salmon is native to Pacific and Arctic coastal waters. The Pink Salmon can be found from the southern coast of California, up to the coast of British Columbia in Canada to Alaska, across the Bering Strait to Russia and down the coast of Asia to as far south as Northern Japan and China on the Asian coast.

They can be found in the ocean from latitudes north of northern California and up to the Arctic ocean following the coast of Russian in the west and Alaska and the Yukon in the east.

They can be found inland as far as several hundred miles/about 300 kilometres on average, though may go inland as much as 500 miles/800 kilometres in the Russian arctic rivers.

Pink Salmon Short Life

Pink Salmon spend about six months or less in their birth river after hatching and then another 18 months at see before beginning their migration process.

In their second year, the migrate into their birth river and spawn. What is very odd about the Pink Salmon is that they always spawn in their second year. They live one of the shortest lives of all Pacific Salmon.

Endangered Populations

Pink Salmon are critically imperilled in California and Washington state, though the situation is worse in California. The cause for their endangered status in these rivers is related to human habitat encroachment as well as from mining and forestry operations.


The pink salmon has a humpbacked appearance, which is more pronounced than any other salmon with the exception of the Sockeye Salmon.

This hump is not always present on the male Pink Salmon. The hump developed as the Pink Salmon gets ready to spawn, undergoing several physical changes. Some think the hump is for show while others and believe it helps them prepare for the tough journey ahead.

While at sea, the Pink Salmon have a sleek silvery appearance like all the other Pacific Salmon, with the exception of some landlocked species like the Pink Salmon.