the time our most ancient human ancestors arrived on the Pacific,
salmon had been around for eons. The oldest undoubted salmon fossil
is Eosalmo driftwoodensis literally dawn salmon which lived 50 million
years ago. During the late Miocene epoch, five to six million years
ago, salmon were giant fish with fangs that weighed 500 pounds.
Now, the king salmon (Oncorhyncus tshawytscha) is the biggest member
of that ancient tribe, some growing to over 100 pounds. Also known
as chinook, blackmouth, spring, tyee and hog salmon, kings are prized
by sports anglers and commercial trollers, gillnetters, and seiners
from California to the Alaska Peninsula. Its cousins in the salmon
tribe are cohos (O. kisutch), sockeye (O. nerka), chum (O.
pink (O. gorbuscha), steelhead (O. mykiss), cherry (O. masou) and
amago (O. amago).