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Rare pink salmon caught by Cleveland Metroparks crew in Rocky River

Here's something you rarely ever find in Northeast Ohio! Pink salmon are a "Pacific salmon" species and are native to Alaska.
Credit: Photo provided by Cleveland Metroparks

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — So here's something you don't see every day in Northeast Ohio. And we really mean it. 

Our friends at Cleveland Metroparks reports that during a recent fish sampling (or electrofishing) project in Rocky River, they caught a male pink salmon. 

We consulted our photojournalist/outdoors expert Carl "Big Daddy" Bachtel for more information about the rare fish. Apparently pink salmon are a "Pacific salmon" species and are native to Alaska.

So how did it get here?

"I have no idea," says Big Daddy, who speculated that the fish may have been stocked with other salmon in Lake Ontario or Lake Michigan.

Clearly, it's time to do a little more research.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, pink salmon are the smallest of the Pacific salmon found in North America. They weigh on average between 3.5 and 5 pounds, with an average length of 20-25 inches.

Here's the kicker: In 1956, there was "an accidental introduction" of pink salmon to Lake Superior. The species survived and became an established population, spread throughout the Great Lakes, and remains today. 

Bingo.

Want one other dynamite drop-in fact about pink salmon? They are also known as humpback salmon, or humpy. Apparently by the time males enter the stream where they will spawn, they have developed a very large hump, and hooked jaws called a kype.

Special thanks to our friends in Alaska for the help. 

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