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Chums, one of the types of Salmonid.

The Salmonids are a race of fish creatures and the main antagonists and enemies of the Salmon Run mode in Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3. Their main ink color is dark green in Splatoon 2 and dark teal in Splatoon 3.

Biology and culture

Boss Salmonids and Lesser Salmonid are the same species, and what determines their appearance is what environment they are raised in. Those who are raised in a harsher environment become Boss Salmonid. Steelheads and Maws have big bodies, while Scrappers and Steel Eels have higher intelligence.

Salmonids regularly return in large numbers from their habitat to where they spawned[1] in order to mature[2], a behavior called a Salmon Run. For them, music signifies the start of such runs, and they play it to raise morale. The best performers from a tribe form a band.[3]

Most Salmonids are seen using cooking utensils as their weapon, with Chums and Cohocks using a frying pan, Smallfry using a spoon, Grillers using a grill, the Stinger using a stack of cooking pots, and the Flyfish using beverage coolers.

In a developer interview,[4] it was revealed that this is due to the Salmonids trying to make themselves look “tasty”. It’s explained that the Salmonids aren’t afraid of dying and regard their death to be a cycle of life and think of all life being part of this cycle. Grillers are said to be the ultimate way of doing so by the Salmonids becoming the contents of the Griller. When the Salmonids fight to death, they feel a sense of unity with themselves and the world. When they are eaten by other creatures, they see their death as a way of being one with the world.

There are floating sculptures based off of cooking utensils in the background of Salmon Run stages, where some also feature food on them. These are built by the Salmonids and symbolize with the belief of being delicious to eat.

Salmonids are an honorable clan; fighting for their clan's pride is seen as equally precious as their values. They take care of keeping their weapon in great shape. Their frying pans, as well as other weapons they wield, are passed down generation to generation.[5]

Types of Salmonid

Lesser Salmonids

Boss Salmonids

Normal Bosses

Event-specific Bosses

King Salmonids


Lesser Salmonids

Boss Salmonids

Event-specific Bosses



  • The Salmonids' hair looks like a Spartan Helmet. The Spartans were a warrior city-state that valued dying for Sparta in combat.
  • The Salmonids have a trade agreement with the Octarians, where the Salmonids provide Power Eggs used as energy sources in exchange for Octarian weapons and machinery.[4] In The Art of Splatoon 2, it is stated that Salmonids do not trade Golden Eggs, as they are too valuable.
  • The Salmonids which use a frying pan as their weapon, consisting of the Chum, Cohock and Goldie, all have two variations of the frying pan. One variant of the frying pan has an emblem resembling a Salmonid, a metal handle, a smoother shape and circular rings on the pan. The other variant lacks these features while having a wooden handle.
  • Lesser Salmonids may make upward jumps of unlimited heights to splat players staying on walls for too long.
  • The Salmonids' appearance resembles that of a salmon when it is in its spawning phase, which differs from ocean phase, where it turns more vibrant red, adopting brown and grey colors instead of the silvery color, and has a more elongated jaw that hooks downwards with bigger teeth. Some species also get hunched backs.
  • The Salmonids willingness to die may be based on how salmon partaking the salmon run die after spawning. The dying salmon play an important role in providing nutrients to life surrounding it, which may also be what the Salmonids' belief of "becoming one with the world" is based on.

Names in other languages


Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese シャケ
Netherlands Dutch Salmoniet Salmonoid
France French Salmonoïde Salmonid
Germany German Salmonide Salmonid
Italy Italian Salmonoide Salmonid
Russia Russian Самонид
Spain Spanish Salmónido Salmonid
China Chinese 鮭魚[6]
Portugal Portuguese Salmonídeo Salmonoid

Lesser Salmonid

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ザコシャケ
Zako shake
Small-fish salmon
Netherlands Dutch Gewone Salmoniet Regular Salmonid
France French Salmonoïde commun Common Salmonid
Germany German Standard-Salmonid Standard Salmonid
Italy Italian Salmonoide comune Common Salmonid
Russia Russian Обычный самонид
Obychnyy samonid
Average Salmonid
Spain Spanish (NOE) Salmónido menor Small Salmonid