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Salmon Education

Cook Inlet AK salmon

A frequent question we get from our customers is 'how many species of salmon are there in Alaska and which ones do you catch?'  So here's a brief salmon lesson: There are five species of salmon in Alaska and we catch all five.  We mostly catch Sockeye salmon and rarely catch King salmon (because they run closer to the beach).  One day this past season we caught every specie and attempted to photograph them while underway.  Here's a King Salmon, a.k.a. Chinook.  He has spots throughout his body and much larger teeth than the other species.  King average 20lbs and have a succulent flavor and firm texture.    Here's a Sockeye Salmon, a.k.a. Red.  Her tail fin does not have silver in it and her scales and eyes are an average size.  Sockeye average 6lbs and have a rich flavor, firm texture and deep red flesh color.  (Sockeye are what we sell to you!)    Here's a Coho Salmon, a.k.a. Silver.  His fin has silver in it, his eyes are smaller and his body is rounder than the Sockeye.  Coho average 12lbs and have a delicate flavor with firm orange-red flesh. Here's a Chum Salmon, a.k.a. Keta, Dog, or Silverbrite.  Her tail displays some silver color, the body is slimmer than the Silver and her body tapers off quickly in front of the tail, unlike the Sockeye.  Her eyes are larger than the Silver.  Chum average 8lbs and have a mild flavor and pink meat color.  Here's a Pink Salmon, a.k.a. Humpy.  His scales are very small, while spawning he develops a hump behind his head .  Pink average 3lbs and have a mild delicate flavor, soft to medium texture and rosy pink-colored flesh. Those are the basics!  Now see if you can identify each specie in this group posed photo.

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  • Kathy Williams on

    Too cute, Emily – I loved this post! I’ll let you know my opinions of “who is who” later – tons of love – Mom

  • Barbara Risberg Cole on

    great education piece , Emily! ( Katie sent me your website …. I used to do creel census on the oregon coast , with commercial and recreational fisherman ( and women ) . Mostly I looked at Chinook and Coho, for coded wire tags in the snouts ( cut the snout off, we kept them in our freezer at home ! :) Also took eyeball fluid and scale samples to determine growth , river of origin, etc. I loved the job !!! sometimes I went out fishing on smaller boats , with other fish people while waiting for boats to return to port ~ thanks for taking me down memory lane , and enjoy your time out at sea , for me :) I always wanted to be a fisherwoman; life had other plans …. now I just eat the fish ( mostly my favorite is Ling Cod, Greenling , specifically !

    Have fun!! I’m going out to visit and help ( ? ) Katie , Chris play with Lucy!

    xo, Barbara ( katie’s mom )

  • Emily Lints on

    Hi Barbara- Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. It was great to hear about your past in the fish industry. visit us in AK anytime for some fish exposure. Merry Christmas and love to all of your family, including little Lucy.

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