It’s hard to enumerate all the wonderful characteristics of Alaska’s most ubiquitous fish. Salmon are nutritious, delicious, abundant, fun to catch and easy to find just about anywhere you go in Alaska. The state of Alaska has banned fish farming in state waters, so all salmon that comes from Alaska is 100 percent wild and among the healthiest food available to man. There are five species of salmon in Alaska: king, silver, pink, chum and red. Some of the individual species, like red salmon from Alaska’s Copper River, have achieved boutique status in groceries around the country, but all of them are delicious. Part of the reason salmon are so tasty is because of the vigorous exercise they get in the process of spawning. Salmon are born in streams and then swim out to the ocean and spend their adolescence in the sea. When they are ready to reproduce, they head back to the stream or river of their birth to spawn, after which they die. Yukon River spawners bound for the extreme headwaters in Yukon Territory, Canada, will travel more than 2,000 river miles during a 60-day period.
Where to find them:
Salmon are found all over Alaska in rivers, streams and the ocean. They are a staple of the diet of most residents of the state, particularly Alaska Natives.
When to come:
Salmon can be caught year-round, though they are by far most widespread in the summer. In winter, some juveniles may be caught in the ocean, but the best time for salmon fishing is in the summer months, when they can literally choke streams and rivers with their vast numbers