Until 1990, Rainbows were known as Salmo gairdneri and were thought to be a genetic relative of the brown trout. New evidence proves the fish descended from a line of the Pacific salmon, genus Oncorhynchus (meaning “hooked snout”). They are now known as Oncorhynchus mykiss. Long fished by the First Nations, Rainbows are also an anglers’ favorite, not because of their beauty so much as for their acrobatics. They are eager to take a fly or lure and then the battle begins! Rainbows can grow to weights as high as 42 pounds and lengths of close to four feet. Steelhead are rainbows that go to sea. These three fish depict this run to the ocean that causes the transformation of Rainbow to Steelhead and what the scenery along these rivers to the sea might once have looked like. The survival of these fish is dependent on well-oxygenated and cool water (56 degrees to about 70), which global warming, urban sprawl and pollution haven’t helped. In recent years, trout fishermen and First Nations tribes have been instrumental in stream enhancement and restoration, once again building up populations of these beautiful fish.
American Roin (Turdus migratorius)
One of our most familiar birds, I’ve taken artistic license to make these ones much redder as they are truly more of a rust colour. Known for their lovely blue eggs, both male and females look after the young. They’re found here on the West Coast in cities, towns, farmland, lawns, shade trees, forests and in the winter often in berry bearing trees. I see them down on the beach quite often.