Salmon Salmon

5 Different Types of Salmon in Alaska

Consuming fish like salmon two times a week can benefit your cardiovascular well-being, and forestall issues like coronary illness and stroke due to the presence of unsaturated omega fats. It is especially advantageous to consume the various types of salmon in Alaska rather than other creature proteins, especially red meat.

There are 5 different types of Salmon in Alaska and the majority of them have comparative highlights that they contrast in the long run along with generations as time passes by.

This implies that the actual changes of every Alaska salmon contrast rely upon how long salmon stay in Alaskan waters. With that, it would be challenging to recognize different Alaska salmons during spawning.

People consume six types of salmon in Alaska- King salmon, Sockeye salmon, Silver salmon, Pink salmon, Chum salmon, and the last one that lives in the Atlantic is called Atlantic salmon. Atlantic salmon is usually cultivated, while Pacific salmon species are fundamentally wildly extracted and they are commonly viewed as the best salmon.

Every one of these types of salmon in Alaska has without a doubt another name. Various types of salmon in Alaska like sockeye salmon, Coho salmon, chinook salmon, and Atlantic salmon are listed as endangered.

5 Different Types of Salmon in Alaska 

1. Coho or Silver Salmon

Types of salmon in Alaska include the Coho salmon which is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family and one of the five species of Pacific salmon.

The scientific species’ name came from the Russian name ‘Kizhuch‘ which means ‘silvers‘. This is particularly due to their bright silver skin although it has a lighter flavor in contrast with King Salmon or Sockeye salmon.

types of Salmon in Alaska
Image by California Sea Grant on Flickr

During their ocean stage, Coho salmon have bright silver sides and dark blue backs. During spawning, jaws and sharp teeth become snared or hooked in these types of salmon in Alaska.

In the wake of entering freshwater silver salmon or Coho salmon, fosters bright red sides, bluish-green heads and backs, dark midsections, and large dark spots on their backs.

The average size and weight of silver salmon range from 24 to 30 inches in length and around 8 to 12 pounds respectively.

Physically developing silver salmon fish foster a light-pink or rose shading along the gut and the males might show a slight curving of the back. Matured fishes have an articulated red skin tone with hazier backs and a normal size of up to 28 inches (71 cm) and a weight of 7 to 11 pounds (3.2 to 5.0 kg) but occasionally it is 36 pounds (16 kg) in weight.

Silver salmon or Coho salmon additionally has an enormous kype (snared nose) during spawning. Mature females might be hazier than males and both would show an articulated snare on the button.

Coho Salmon
By JT Fisherman from Shutterstock

Coho salmon out of the remaining kinds of salmon has dazzling bright red flesh or red tissues and somewhat a more sensitive surface than King salmon but a comparative flavor.

Silver Salmon is an ideal Salmon fish for barbecuing, cooking, poaching in oil or margarine, and sautéed, but it is usually smoked.

Even though Silver Salmon or Coho salmon is available throughout the year, a large portion of these types of Salmon in Alaska is found between mid-June to late October.

2. King or Chinook Salmon

The scientific species name of Chinook salmon is based on the Russian common name ‘chavycha‘.

Chinook salmon species of salmon known as Oncorhynchus tschawytscha, otherwise called King salmon, is considered by a larger number of people to be the best-tasting salmon.

These types of salmon in Alaska have an exceptionally high-fat substance and tissues that reach from white to a dark red color.

types of salmon in Alaska
Image by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region on Flickr

Chinook salmon is viewed as one of the biggest types of salmon in Alaska, yet the most un-bountiful and significant among others. The biggest king salmon on record was trapped in a fish trap near Petersburg, Alaska in 1949. It weighed 126 pounds.

The biggest king salmon caught to date came from the Kenai waterway in 1986 and weighed up to 97 pounds. Besides that, the biggest Alaskan King salmon weighs around 126 lbs.

King salmon (Chinook) fish can weigh over 40 lbs, has smooth tissues, and is one of the most significant commercial freshwater fish on the lookout.

One of the distinctive features of King Salmon among all the different types of salmon in Alaska is the presence of spots on both the upper and lower projections of the fin or tail. Additionally, Chinook’s mouth and gums have a dark coating with huge spots on the upper back.

Chinook Salmon
By CSNafzger from Shutterstock

King Salmon eggs are used for caviar in certain nations like Japan, China, and Russia and it has substantially more flavor and a firmer with less slick consistency.

It is an ideal fish for barbecuing and poaching due to its bountiful oil content that gives a rich buttery flavor. Doesn’t make any difference how King salmon is cooked, it in itself is as of now delectable and delicious.

Often King salmon are utilized while making sushi, found generally at the focal point of cafes and ready as steaks, and filets, and usually are the all in all fish served at the fish counters.

The time period between mid-May to July is the best time to get these types of salmon in Alaska but King salmon can be consumed consistently throughout the year.

3. Red or Sockeye Salmon

Red salmon or otherwise called Sockeye salmon is the third most commercially harvested type of salmon in Alaska.

These types of salmon in Alaska are called by different names like the sockeye salmon species, Oncorhynchus nerka, the red salmon, kokanee salmon, or blueback salmon. These are anadromous types of salmon in Alaska of the Northern Pacific Ocean and waterways.

types of Salmon in Alaska
Image by NOAA Fisheries West Coast on Flickr

They have bright red-orange flesh. They can grow up to 84 cm (2 ft 9 in) long and weigh 2.3 to 7 kg (5-15 lb).

Adolescents stay in freshwater until they are prepared to migrate to the sea over distances of up to 1,600 km (1,000 mi). Their eating regimen comprises fundamentally of zooplankton.

Spawning sockeye salmon are semelparous because they die after they spawn. A few populaces alluded to as kokanee, don’t relocate to the sea and carry on with their whole lives in freshwater.

Sockeye Salmon tails have no spots or streaks and the mouth and gums are white. The rear of Sockeye Salmon additionally doesn’t have spots.

The vast majority of the eateries incline toward Sockeye salmon as a result of dark red shading and its surface holds its tone in any event when Salmon is cooked. The meat is greasy and firm, but with an adaptable flavor.

Sockeye Salmon
By tab62 from Shutterstock

Very much like King Salmon, Sockeye Salmon can be eaten both raw and smoked. It is additionally made into lox, which is a filet of salmon that could conceivably be prepared smoked.

Even though Sockeye salmon is less rich when contrasted with king salmon, sockeye salmon generally tracks down its direction to the focal point of the eatery. Additionally cooked as steaks, filets, and entire fish.

Grown-up sockeye salmon return as bringing forth sockeye salmon between the long periods of July and October. New Sockeye salmon can be found between mid-May to mid-September.

4. Dog or Chum Salmon

The list of all the types of salmon in Alaska also includes the Dog Salmon or otherwise called Chum Salmon.

Previously, Chum salmon was not that easily available, but as the years passed, Japan and Europe began to develop their market for fresh and frozen Alaska salmon and are presently financially stable.

The chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta), otherwise called dog salmon or keta salmon, is a species of anadromous salmonid fish from the variety Oncorhynchus (Pacific salmon)- local to the waterfront waterways of the North Pacific and the Beringian Arctic and is in many cases showcased under the business trademark silverbrite salmon in North America.

The English name “chum salmon” comes from the Chinook Jargon term ‘tzum’, signifying “spotted” or “set apart“; while keta in the logical name comes from Russian, which thus comes from the Evenki language of Eastern Siberia.

types of Salmon in Alaska
Image by USFWS – Pacific Region on Flickr

Chum Salmon ordinarily weighs around 4 to more than 30 pounds but has a normal of 7 to 18 pounds.

The body of the dog or chum salmon is more profound than most of the types of salmon in Alaska. In a similar manner to different species found in the Pacific, the anal fin has 12 to 20 beams but European species have only 12.

Chum has a sea tinge of shiny blue-green with some black speckles in a more obscure shade and a fairly paler tummy.

Whenever dog salmon or chum salmon moves into freshwater the variety changes to dull olive green and the tummy tone extends. Whenever grown-ups are close to mating, they have purple smudged streaks close to the caudal peduncle and more obscure towards the tail.

Spawning males of dog salmon commonly grow a long nose or kype, their lower fins become tipped with white and they have amplified teeth. A few analysts guess these attributes are utilized to seek mates.

Chum Salmon
By Katarzyna Hurova from Shutterstock

Chum Salmons are dry fish which is usually prepared as dried fish in soup and chowders. Since Chum salmons have light orange or red or pink tissue, it is an ideal salmon utilized for drying and smoking. And, Keta roe is additionally utilized in sushi.

Fresh Chum salmon are bountiful for long periods from June to September but are available throughout the entire year as frozen salmon.

5. Pink or Humpy Salmon

The next type of salmon in Alaska is the Pink salmon or humpback salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). It is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family, whose identification is based on the Russian common name for this type, gorbúša. It is in a real sense implies humpies are another one of the types of salmon in Alaska.

Pink Salmon or Humpy Salmon types in Alaska are viewed as the smallest salmon among the other species of salmon. It weighs simply 3 to 5 pounds, but, can go as much as 14 pounds.

Although Pink Salmon are small in size, they are the most plentiful of all the types of Salmon in Alaska because over 140 million fresh pink salmon are caught. The majority of the commercially caught Pink salmon every year is canned.

Humpy Salmon
Photo by Alaska region on Flickr

Pink salmon are bright silver fishes that while getting back to their breeding streams change their shading from pale grey on the back to a yellowish-white stomach or a green body. Like all the salmon notwithstanding the dorsal balance, they additionally have a fat blade.

Pink salmon has a white mouth with black gums, no teeth on the tongue, huge oval-formed dark spots on the back, an angular tail, and an anal fin with 13-17 delicate beams.

During their fertilization and relocation of pink salmon, adult males foster an articulated humped back, henceforth they are named “humpies”. Pink salmon is normally 4.8 pounds (2.2 kg) in weight. The most extreme recorded size was 30 inches (76 cm) with a weight of 15 pounds (6.8 kg).

They are great biters, forceful in nature, and more often run in large groups, which implies that once you observe them you can get them.

pink salmon
By Troutnut from Shutterstock

The Life Cycle of Pacific Salmon Eggs

The life of all Alaska salmons starts as fertilized eggs in freshwater. Contingent upon the types of salmon in Alaska and water temperature, the eggs hatch in a given time period inside the rocks present in the water.

As the salmon develops inside the egg, it goes through various changes like the development of eyes, a spine, and a tail.

In the long run, the egg will hatch, prompting the following life stage called the alevin. Alevin is little and can be distinguished by the enormous orange yolk sac connected to the body.

Alevin stays in the rock, safeguarded from hunters, and gets supplements from the yolk sac. At this stage, little tails start to develop.

As the alevin develops, the supplements in the yolk sac are exhausted and the salmon starts to foster mouthparts, as well as little, ovular shapes along each side of its body. This is the moment that the fish starts to leave the safe house of the rock bed and swim around looking for food. This stage is known as the fry stage.

Life Cycle of the Pacific Salmon

Every type of salmon fry will stay in freshwater for a particular period of time. Some similar to sockeye and silver salmon will remain in freshwater for a little while. Others, similar to pink and chum salmon relocate to the ocean right after development.

As the salmon fry gets ready to relocate to the ocean, they lose their parr stamps and enter the following phase of their life, which is the smolt stage. Smolt differs in size by species and ordinarily back in brackish water where the ocean meets freshwater.

Smolt develops quickly and when the salmon arrives at a specific size, it starts its untamed sea relocation, and along these lines enters the grown-up phase of its life or the adult life.

Adult salmon will stay in the sea taking care of for a given period of time contingent upon the species. Kings can remain in saltwater for as long as 6 years, while pink salmon are on a two-year cycle, meaning they return to spawn in freshwater as two-year-old fish.

After getting back to freshwater from the ocean, salmon go through critical physical changes. Salmon getting back to freshwater to spawn are classified as “spawners,” which is the following phase of their life.

Pacific salmon spawn in the stream or lake they were brought into the world in and some spawn in a practically similar place where they rose out of their egg.

Pacific Salmon and their Circle of Life

Every specie enters freshwater systems in different seasons. In numerous waterway frameworks, kings are the principal species to return, followed by sockeye, pinks, chums, and silvers.

In their natal stream, some spawning types of salmon in Alaska start the relocation upriver to arrive at their spawning ground. The length for which a salmon will make a trip to arrive at the spawning grounds fluctuates by waterway and by species.

There are chum salmon in the Yukon River in Alaska that relocates above and beyond 2,000 miles to arrive at their spawning grounds.

When the Alaska salmon has arrived at its spawning ground, the female and male pair up. The female digs a bed in the rock called a “redd.”

This is the place where she will store her eggs as the male prepares them with his milt. In the wake of spawning, all types of Pacific salmon die, finishing their lifecycle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the most common type of salmon in Alaska?

Pink or Humpy Salmon is the most common type of salmon in Alaska.

2. Which is the most expensive salmon?

King Salmon, also known as Chinook Salmon is the most expensive salmon.

3. Which is the tastiest salmon?

Many people believe that Chinook salmon, also known as King salmon, has the finest flavor of all the salmon varieties.

The Footnote

Although numerous seafood contains omega unsaturated fats or fatty acids, both cultivated and wild salmons are an extraordinarily great decision for fish since they are additionally low in mercury.

Besides going through different types of salmon in Alaska to eat, have a look at the list of the 12 best places to visit in Alaska to make your trip worthwhile.

Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by somya909