Sockeye Salmon: Oncorhynchus nerka
The sockeye or red salmon is considered to be the best tasting of all the West Coast salmon. Growing to lengths of thirty three inches (84 cm) these fish range from the Bering Sea to Los Angeles, California. They spawn in freshwater tributaries of lakes where they spend the first one to three years. These young fish will now migrate to the ocean where they will live for another two to four years; at this time, the males turn bright green with red heads, and then return to home streams to spawn and die. Home stream destruction and over fishing threaten the survival of these species. Almost as bright as the male fish themselves was the art of:
In 1790-1792 a book was written entitled “A Voyage Round the World” by Etienne Marchand. He visited the Haida in the Queen Charlottes, an archipelago off the Northwest Coast of British Columbia, Canada. He was taken aback by the art of a supposedly primitive culture. This is part of a Quote: Paintings everywhere, everywhere sculpture, among a nation of hunters”. The totems in the male fish are representative of a village called Skidgate just before the turn of the century. In the female is a depiction of spear fishing. Taking place during the return of the salmon to spawn, the practice took skill, but the targets were plentiful. All the tribes in the Pacific Northwest practiced this art. These non-agrarian societies depended on the salmon not just for food, but as a spiritual source as well.