If you are new to fishing then chances are that you are having a hard time distinguishing between different species of salmon fishes. The bad news is that the licensing of salmon fishes depends on the species of salmon fish you have caught. So if you are unable to differentiate between different species of salmon fishes then you may be accused of violating the license restrictions. Worse, you may even face fine or more severe repercussions.
By the way, differentiating between different species of salmon fishes is not that hard, provided you have the basic knowledge of the different species of salmon. In this article I will tell of the various species of salmon that exist today and how to identity one from the other. Note that the different attributes of salmon fishes that I describe here generally applies to adult salmon, and may not apply to its young ones.
Chinook: It is easy to identify a Chinook- the lower gums of a Chinook are colored black. This is the reason why it is also known as the ‘blackmouth’. Their back is colored either olive or brown and their sides usually have dark black spots. It is also the largest salmon fish available on the Pacific Ocean.
Coho: A Coho looks quite the opposite of a Chinook; it is also known as the Silver salmon. Its head and back are generally bluish green. Depending on the season when you catch this fish, its back is either red or wine-colored. The cover of its gills is usually reddish throughout the whole year.
Chum: It is a lesser known salmon fish however since we are discussing about all types of salmon fishes, it is important you know about chums as well. This will help you distinguish between all the kinds of salmon fishes available. One of the ways to identify chums is by watching their nature-they usually remain in salt water and hence, won’t move very far inland. If Chinook is the largest salmon fish on the Pacific Ocean, Chum is the second largest salmon fish. It is easy to identify a Chum: they have a distinguished set of teeth, they have horizontal bars and they are usually colored either red or purplish blue.
Sockeye: Be careful when distinguishing between a Sockeye and a Coho. Since both salmon fishes share the same body color, you are likely to become confused when seeing them together. The unique thing about a Sockeye is that unlike other species of salmon, they usually spend about two years in a freshwater lake before moving out in the ocean. There are hardly any distinguishable feature between a male Sockeye and its female counterpart, except that the males usually have a bump on their backs and are more brilliantly colored than the females.
Kokanee: Unlike other salmon species, a Kokanee hardly ever moves out in the salt water. It spends its entire life in a freshwater lake, As far as features are concerned, they look very much like the Sockeye- both of them are red-colored and the males have a bump near the dorsal fin.
In order to become an expert in distinguishing between different types of salmon fishes, it is a good idea to invest in a wholesome book on salmon fishing. If you need more information about salmon fishes, we have a complete resource guide available for that purpose. In order to access the guide [adrotate banner=”21″]