SALMON SAVVY

Sport Fishing - - ELECTRONICS -

Alaska of­fers shots at five species of salmon, all with sil­very sides ex­cept when they as­cend rivers to spawn and grow darker. CHI­NOOK SALMON

On­corhynchus tshawytscha, aka king salmon, can reach 60 pounds or more. Chi­nook are con­sid­ered the most prized salmon sport fish by most an­glers. The IGFA all-tackle record weighed 97 pounds, 4 ounces, caught in Alaska’s Ke­nai River. Killer whales, bears and seals also tar­get the salmon for meals, so watch over your shoul­der when fish­ing.

COHO SALMON

On­corhynchus kisutch, aka sil­ver salmon, are widely dis­trib­uted and grow to 20 pounds. Jerry Lifton’s record catch in New York’s Salmon River weighed 33 pounds, 4 ounces. Coho are also avail­able in cold-wa­ter land­locked lakes, such as the Great Lakes, after suc­cess­ful trans­plan­ta­tions that be­gan in the 1960s.

SOCK­EYE SALMON

On­corhynchus nerka, aka red salmon, pos­sess oily flesh and gen­er­ally run 6 to 15 pounds. Sock­eye turn an ob­vi­ous red color dur­ing re­pro­duc­tion, but die off after spawn­ing just once. Stan Roach landed the IGFA record, weigh­ing 15 pounds, 3 ounces, caught in the Ke­nai River.

CHUM SALMON

On­corhynchus keta, aka dog salmon, av­er­age 8 pounds but can reach up to 40. Con­sid­ered the least fla­vor­ful of the salmon, chum turn from a sil­very blue-green to a dark olive green when en­ter­ing fresh wa­ters. Spawn­ing male chum salmon de­velop ca­nine teeth to fend off other males. The cur­rent IGFA record holds strong at 35 pounds, caught in Bri­tish Columbia in July 1995.

PINK SALMON

On­corhynchus gor­buscha, aka hump­back salmon, sel­dom ex­ceed 5 pounds, and de­velop a hump after they en­ter rivers. Hump­ies are the small­est and most abun­dant Pa­cific salmon. The all-tackle record was caught in Mon­roe, Wash­ing­ton, weigh­ing 14 pounds, 13 ounces.

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