Alaska's state fish, the coveted king salmon, is by far the most desired salmon Alaska has to offer. They're the largest and scarcest of the five species of Alaska salmon, bearing the highest amounts of Omega-3 oils of all Alaskan salmon.
Because of this high oil content, they are considered to be the richest salmon in the world. Furthermore, king salmon one of the most important sport and commercial fish in North America, and the most commercially valuable of the Alaska's five salmon species. They are the king of all salmon.
They're original name, Chinook, is derived from the tribal name of the Indians that once lived along the Columbia River in Washington State. In the Alaska fisheries, the species is commonly referred to as the king salmon.
They are also known as Quinnat, Tyee, Black, Chub, Hook Bill, Winter, Blackmouth, Spring, and Jack salmon. Spring salmon are king salmon which ascend rivers in early to late spring. One year old males are called jacks.
In scientific terms, king salmon is called "Oncorhynchus tshawytscha". The name Oncorhynchus means hooked snout, and tshawytscha is the name given to these fish by the people of the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia.
Chinook salmon belong to the family Salmonidae(salmon) and are one of eight species of Pacific salmonids in the genus Oncorhynchus.
King salmon are wildly abundant from the southern panhandle of Alaska to as far up the northwest coast as Kotzebue Sound. Considerably large runs also return inland hundreds of miles through the Yukon, Kuskokwim, Nushagak, Susitna, Kenai, Copper, Alsek, Taku, and Stikine rivers, as well as many other streams and rivers.
Commercial king salmon fisheries areas include Cook Inlet, Bristol Bay, Copper River, Taku River, Sitkine River, Southeast, Chignik, Yukon River, Kuskokwim River, Prince William Sound, and more.
King salmon caught commercially average about 18 pounds. The majority of the catch is made with troll gear and gillnets. There is an excellent market for king salmon because of their large size and excellent table qualities. The largest commercial catches take place between May-September. They are sold fresh, fresh-frozen or canned.
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- Matthew Hurt
“I want to thank you and thank you again for the DELICIOUS Yukon King salmon. The last time I ate Yukon Chinook salmon it came out of a can. That was back in the 60’s when my father represented Mountain Village Fish Company for their canned Chinooks and Chums. They were the best eating canned salmon ever. I never got a chance to try frozen Yukon salmon until you sent that wonderful gift to us. So once more let me say THANK YOU.”
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