Identifying That Salmon on Your Hook

Alaska is home to five different species of salmon. They are the Chinook or King salmon, the Silver or Coho salmon, Pink salmon, Chum salmon, and the Sockeye salmon. These five species are found in varying numbers in all parts of Alaska’s saltwater fishing areas.

One of the most important things that you can do as a fisherman headed to Alaska is to become familiar with these different species and to be able to identify which one of them is flopping around on your hook.

The regulations in Alaska allow you to catch a limit on each species of salmon each day (ie 5 Silvers and 5 Kings and 5 Pinks, etc. may all be in your daily bag limit). If you are not able to identify which species you have caught, you could end up with too many of a species.

The Alaska Dept of Fish an Game has a chart that shows pictures of the different species. I have found it very helpful in  identifying which fish I have caught.

I would encourage you to spend some time studying about the different salmon types and in learning to identify them well. It is quite common to catch several different species on the same day.

Salmon ID chart from Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game

Alaska Jim signature, fishing trip to Alaska