A feed of Chinook


Photos and Text by James Word.


I have been a fan of your site for almost 2 years now. I am from the United States now living in Perth Western Australia going to uni. I keep a couple of blue Cherax destructors as pets. In the beginning of November this year I went back to the states to visit the family and found this cool crayfish.


I've had trouble with the identification (although my best guess is Pacifastacus leniusculus -(the signal crayfish). I foolishly thought, "how hard could it be to ID it from my photos?". I found it in the Nahalem River drainage in Clatsop County Oregon (in the NW coastal mountains of Oregon). This is the same species I used to catch and eat as a kid.

I stopped along the road to take a look around. Down in the stream was this huge spawned-out Chinook (King) salmon. While checking it out I saw little red feet moving along the edge of the tail. The little guy must have been stoked at finding 15 kilos of salmon to eat!



I slowly reached down into the water (bloody cold) and pinned the crayfish against the body of the tail and got my fingers around the thorax. ' snapped some pics too. Most were blurry as I feared for my fingers (he was a bit on the mean side) so here are the highlights.

Thank to Karen for the first one (she tolerates my excursions very well). The pic with him in the salmon mouth is staged (of course) but I couldn't resist. And yeah I let him have his find of a lifetime meal too and put him back to enjoy the spoils :-)

I enjoy your site very much - I hope you like the pics!

Cheers, James