The northern resident orcas appear in the area of Johnstone Strait in late June and remain until mid October. They are the fish eating orca and their appearance coincides with the arrival of the Chinook salmon. The Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha is the largest species in the pacific salmon genus. Other commonly used names for the species include king salmon, black mouth, Quinnat salmon, spring salmon and Tyee salmon.
Chinook salmon are big fish! They are the largest Pacific salmon species. On average, Chinook salmon are close to a meter (3 feet) long and 8 to 14 kg (20 to 30 pounds). But some Chinook salmon in this area can grow to over 25 kg (55 pounds)! This is the preferred food for the orca although they will other species of salmon…..more tomorrow.