U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Alaska is one of the last places on earth where wild salmon still thrive. They’re a critical link in Alaska’s history, cultural heritage, and economy; a key food source for wildlife; and harbinger of the health of Alaska’s lands and waters. Five species of Pacific salmon call Alaska home: Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, and Sockeye. Each year, these fish undertake one of the greatest migrations on earth.

Alaska’s salmon draw visitors and sportfishers from every U.S. state and around the world. Of all the species in the Alaska seafood industry, salmon have the greatest economic impact and value--they support tens of thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars (McDowell Group 2015). In Alaska, salmon are the foundation for subsistence ways of living and cultural traditions that have been around since time immemorial. Of the nearly 20 million pounds of fish harvested for subsistence purposes in Alaska, salmon make up approximately 60% by weight with each species contributing to that total as follows: Chum (40%), Sockeye (39%), Chinook (9%), Coho (9%), pink (3%) (Fall 2013). 

  • Chinook (king)
  • Chum (dog)
  • Coho (silver)
  • Pink (humpy)
  • Sockeye (red)

Even in death, Alaska's salmon give life: Life After Death: Your Ultimate Guide to Zombie Salmon