Fish Species

Just kidding.  

Unfortunately, you won’t find any of these at the Tynehead Hatchery. However, during the right season, you might be able to see any of the following, which the hatchery raises and releases:

  • Chinook Salmon
  • Chum
  • Coho
  • Steelhead

Occasionally, you might see some trout varieties in the river.

Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

  • also known as King salmon, Blackmouth, Quinnat, Spring, and Chub
  • a piscivorous (fish-eating) salmon
  • popular with recreational fisherman, chinook over 14 kg (30 lbs) are called “Tyee”


Mature Chinook (Male and Female)

  • lightly spotted blue-green back, which matures to a dark reddish or even black colour
  • black gums
  • silver, spotted tail, which is V shaped at junvenile stage, but becomes more square as the fish matures
  • snout matures into pronounced hook

Chum (Oncorhynchus keta)

  • resemble Sockeye, but are larger
  • live three to five years
  • typically weigh between 4.5 kg and 6.5 kg
  • have been known to reach as large as 15 kg


Mature Chum (Male and Female)

  • distinguishable from sockeye by a white tipped anal fin
  • silvery sides with faint bars as juveniles
  • mature fish have dark red or purple coloured bars
  • greenish tinged back
  • teeth at base of tongue are absent
  • base of tail is slender, while the tail is slightly forked with silver streaks

Coho (Oncoryhynchus kisutch)

  • Interior Fraser River coho salmon are descended from populations of coho that survived the ice age
  • genetically distinct from coho that live in the lower Fraser River watershed
  • fry spend about a year in freshwater before migrating to salt water
  • Interior Fraser River coho are under threat from shifting marine conditions, deteriorating habitats in fresh waters, and fisheries in coastal waters off places such as Vancouver island and Washington
  • lifespan about three years
  • small coho passing into maturity are called “bluebacks”
  • spawning females have similar colour as males, but less bright


Mature Coho (Male and Female)

  • mature coho have silver sides and metallic blue backs with irregular black spotting
  • spawning males have bright red sides, bright green backs and heads, and darker bellies
  • hooked jaws with sharp teeth
  • young have large orange anal fin
  • wide tail base
  • weigh between 1.3 and 14 kg
  • white gums

Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

  • bears very similar appearance and same scientific name as rainbow trout
  • anadromous fish (lives most of its life in saltwater but returns to spawn in freshwater)
  • also found in inland lake ecosystems, as they adapt well to spawning in tributaries
  • often confused as a species of salmon, steelhead are actually classified as trout



  • teeth at base of tongue are absent
  • slender and streamlined body
  • back is blue green/olive with black spots
  • silvery sheen covers most colouring until spawning stage, when colours are dulled and harder to differentiate from rainbow trouts

More information on fish species: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

DFO-Salmonid Enhancement Program https://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/sep-pmvs/index-eng.html

DFO–Information about Pacific Salmon https://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/salmon-saumon/facts-infos-eng.html

Videos of the Fish

Life at Tynehead Hatchery

Here is the story and videos of how at Tynehead Hatchery we raise the coho from the egg to when local school and our volunteers release these fish into the river to start their long journey. Few will return but their life story is fasinating.

Click here to enter

Comments are closed.