Rainbow Trout: Salmo gairdneri
Up 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. This fish is an anglers’ favorite, not because of its’ beauty so much as for its acrobatics. They are eager to take a fly or lure and then the battle begins! Rainbows can grow to sizes of as high as forty-two pounds and lengths of three feet nine inches. (Steelhead are rainbows that go to sea.). The survival of these fish is dependent on well-oxygenated and cool water (56 degrees to about seventy) which global warming, urban sprawl and pollution haven’t helped. In recent years, trout fishermen and native tribes have been instrumental in stream enhancement and restoration once again building up populations of this beautiful fish.
British Columbia Salamander: Ambystoma decorticatum
The little salamander in foreground is the British Columbia Salamander (Ambystoma decorticatum). They live in the coastal wet belt of British Columbia and Washington north at least to Port Simpson.