Alaska’s Fish Species

A Guide to Alaskan Fish Species

Alaskan King SalmonThe waters in and around Ketchikan, Alaska are teaming with life. It would be an understatement to say that our waters have an abundance of trophy fish.

  • King Salmon (also known as Chinook)
  • Silver Salmon (aka Coho)
  • Pink Salmon (aka Humpback)
  • Chum Salmon (aka Dog or Keta)
  • Pacific Halibut
  • Yelloweye Rockfish (aka Pacific Red Snapper)
  • Ling Cod

Kings are available from mid-May through mid-July.

Silvers are available from early July through September.

Pinks are available from early July through mid-August.

Salmon Identification

kingCHINOOK SALMON
aka SPRING / TYEE / QUINNAT

Identifying Characteristics:
- Black gum line
- Tail can be bright silver to dark with spots on both sided of lobes
- Small irregular shaped black spots on back, dorsal fin, and both lobes of tail
- Weight – up to 100 lbs
Limit
Limits on king salmon vary from year to year. Check the current Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary for non-resident limits on kings.”

Legal Chinook Must Be At Least 28 Inches In Length!

coho3SILVER SALMON
aka COHO

Identifying Characteristics:
- White gum line
- Tail has spots on upper lobe only
- Usually has spotting on back and dorsal fin
- Weight – up to 20 lbs
Limit
- Resident – Six Per Day
- Non-Resident – Six Per Day

pinkPINK SALMON
aka HUMPBACK / HUMPIE

Identifying Characteristics:
- Large spots on back and large black oval blotches on both tail lobes
- Very small scales
- Smallest salmon species in Alaska
- Tail has good V shape to it
- Weight – up to 8 lbs – up to 24 inches
Limit
- Resident – Six Per Day
- Non-Resident – Six Per Day

chumCHUM SALMON
aka DOG

Identifying Characteristics:
- No distinctive spots on back or tail
- Large eye pupil covers nearly the entire eye
- Tail may have silver streaks throughout
- Vertical bars or faint outlines on side (tiger stripes)
- Weight – 6 to 18 lbs or more – up to 18 inches
Limit
- Resident – Six Per Day
- Non-Resident – Six Per Day

sockeyeSOCKEYE SALMON
aka RED

Identifying Characteristics:
- No spots on body
- Tail has no silver color or spots
- May have fang-like teeth at tips of jaw
- Long slender gill rakers
- Weight – 4 to 8 lbs – up to 28 inches
Limit
- Resident – Six Per Day
- Non-Resident – Six Per Day

NOTE: Sockeye are rarely caught on sport gear, as they are plankton eaters