Bi-colored chinook salmon

During almost 20 years of fish research, we have encountered a lot of interesting looking fish species, odd behaviors, and have observed a variety of injuries, such as hook and lamprey scars and wounds from whales and sea lions.

But, we have never seen anything like this bi-colored Chinook salmon, which we recently captured on video. This fish almost appears as if it was dipped head first up to its midsection into black paint since the rest of the fish has normal silver coloring. This appearance is likely the result of damage to nerves controlling pigmentation possibly caused by disease or injury.

Odd-colored or deformed fish usually don’t survive to adulthood, because they are usually quick prey for predators.