In my novel Nearly Canaan, Joshua and Jaya settle into a place unlike anything they would have imagined. Though they live in desert, it still spawns salmon.
Oh, what a fish.
- There are eight commercially important species of salmon in the Pacific, and nine in the Atlantic.
- Some species can reach five feet in length and 110 pounds in weight.
- The body color changes, depending on habitat and the mating seasons. It’s not always the dark orange we see on our dinner plate.
- They have a lot of natural enemies, including big fish, whales, sea lions, and bears. Commercial and sport fishermen take a big toll, too.
- They’re healthy food, rich in proteins, Vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- They can survive three to eight years in the wild.
- They travel thousands of miles from their freshwater spawning areas out to the sea and then return to their birthplace to spawn more. They can climb up to 7,000 feet elevation from the sea to accomplish this. Most will then die of exhaustion.
- They do not eat any food during the time they swim upstream to spawn.
- Swimming upstream, they can jump two yards in the air.
- A female Chinook salmon can carry more than 4,000 eggs.