The Coho Salmon of the Pacific Northwest
Coho are sometimes called blue backs because of their bluish coloring on their backs. They have white gums, black tongues and a few spots on the upper portion of their bodies and silver colored tails. They have a wide tail base. Bright silver with a metallic blue dorsal surface.
Coho usually live for three years and grow rapidly in their final year. They weigh between 1.3 kg and 14 kg.
Fresh run coho are very similar in appearance to other salmon species, bright silver with a metallic blue dorsal surface, and a wide tail base with a few spots on the upper portion of their silver colored tails. As they mature, the males become reddish on the sides, and green on the back and head, often dark on belly. Females are less strongly colored.
The gums at the base of the teeth in the lower jaw are almost white. Its mouth is white but can have a black edge. It has a black tongue and sharp, strong teeth. They have a square silver tail with just a few scattered spots, usually on the upper portion of the tail. It has a wide tail base.
Back in the 70s, l owned a guiding outfit on Vancouver Island, the salmon that was our mainstay was the coho. Of course we fished for the springs and humpies but the coho salmon was a very common fish, not just for us guides but it was chased after by the commercial day trawlers. You do not see them like that anymore. Over fishing, both recreational and commercially did major damage to the runs, and logging did its share of damage to the river systems that supported these fish runs. Between us all, we almost destroyed the once abundant runs of these beautiful fish.