The Coho Salmon: Oncorhychus kisutch
These salmon are bright silver with a metallic blue dorsal surface and so they are nicknamed “Silver Sides” or “Bluebacks”. They live about three years. The average catch is between six and twelve pounds. Coho can reach a length of three feet and a weight of thirty pounds growing rapidly the last year. They come back from the ocean to their freshwater home streams at this time. With water temperatures becoming too warm, and their streams being polluted by chemicals, these fish are on the endangered list. Environmental groups and sport fishers are doing much to rehabilitate streams and rivers. Within the fish our rugged coastline is depicted along with one of the steelheads’ natural predators:
The Great Blue Heron: Ardea horodias
A common sight on the west coast, this wonderful silvery blue bird is often mistaken for a crane and frequently stands as tall as four feet. My German Shepard and I startled one feeding on the dying chum, which were just finishing their run up our creek and that is what stimulated this painting. As pictured the bird folds it long neck in flight. Bulky nests are built of sticks usually in trees or tall thick bushes. Herons like to build their nests with others of their kind; these “rookeries” can vary in size from a handful to fifty and more. These birds feed on fish, frogs, crawfish, even mice and insects. The young are voracious eaters and will seize the bill of the adult and tug until the bird regurgitates some dinner for them.