Salmon (Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail)

Up close shot of a salmon on a river bank
Salmon in a river

In the life of the Chinookans, no other animal equaled the importance of the salmon. In the area of the Columbia River and its tributaries, five different species of salmon (all belonging to the genus Oncorhynchus) spawned.

These included the Chinook (or King) Salmon, the Sockeye Salmon, the Coho (Silver) Salmon, Hump-Backed Salmon, and the Dog Salmon.

The Chinook Salmon usually begin its first run in late March, travelling as much as 1,000 miles up the Columbia and tributaries, averaging two to four miles per day.

Primary Source: “Lewis & Clark Pioneering Naturalists” by Paul Russell Cutright

Last updated: April 16, 2018