Skagway Cruise Excursions - Smoked Salmon


What is Alaska Salmon?

Salmon is one of the most common fish in Alaska, especially for commercial and private fishing. There are five species in Alaska: Chinook/King, Coho/Silver, Sockeye/Red, Chum/Dog, and Humpback/Pink. They typically run in Alaska waterways starting in June through late August and September.

Key Takeaways

  1. Salmon is one of the most populous and popular types of fish in Alaska
  2. There are five species: Chinook/King, Coho/Silver, Sockeye/Red, Chum/Dog, and Humpback/Pink.
  3. Alaskan salmon is a big draw for travelers who enjoy fishing.

Understanding Alaska Salmon

Salmon is one of the important animals in Alaska that is often overlooked for more bombastic species like moose and grizzly bears. In reality, they are a critical part of the ecosystem for both wildlife and humans and have long been instrumental in the diets of Alaska Natives who live near waterways where the fish “run.”

These fish are born in rivers and streams throughout Alaska and make their way to the Pacific Ocean for most of their lives. At the end of their life cycle, they return to the waterways where they are born. This is called a “run,” and occurs every year depending on the subspecies:

  • Kings, the largest species, typically run in mid-May through June.
  • Silvers typically run in late July or early August.
  • Reds typically run from early June through mid-July.
  • Pinks typically run only occur once every two years between late July and September.

Chums are not a common fish to try and catch, as they are the least delicious to eat, and are also called “dog” salmon because that’s who they are typically fed to.

There are a number of great places for fishing across Southcentral Alaska, including the Kenai River, Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage, and out in the Mat-Su Valley along Cook Inlet and the Susitna River.

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