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A brief summary of the most commonly fished species of fish that we try to catch -  - sometimes under difficult circumstances - in the rivers, lakes and Gulf of Alaska.

King Salmon (Chinook)

Salmon fishing begins in May, with the first round of theKing Salmon in the Kasilof River. These salmon are getting pretty big. They weigh proudly up to 35 lbs (biggest King Salmon in the Kasilof River 2007).
 

centerOn June 1st, the significantly larger King Salmon move into the Kenai River in the second run. Here we still hold the world record from 1985 with a King Salmon of a whopping 97 lbs.

 

(Info: 1lb = 460g)

Right: Klaus with the big King Salmon - 72 lbs. (approx. 33 kg)
caught in 1998 in the Kenai River

above: Daughter Monika 2003 with a Rogener - 54 lbs. (approx. 25 kg)

Sockeye Salmon (Red)

Fishing for the Sockeye Salmon, our much loved and coveted Reds, begins in June and then usually runs continuously into August.

 

There are also two runs here:


The first so calledThe "Russian-Run" is a smaller troop of salmon that only migrate to the Russian River to spawn. The second (late) run is much larger and usually begins in mid-July. During this time the Red can be fished (almost) anywhere in the Kenai River. On good days, up to 100,000 salmon move into the river and, after a long journey, spread out to spawn and ultimately die.

top right: Beautiful sockeye on the Kenai River 2018.

below from left: successful catch  - Rogener sea form and Milchner in the "final stage" - sockeye run on the way to the creeks

Silver Salmon (Coho)

The Silver Salmon "replace the Red" and migrate from early to late August and into the SSeptember to their spawning grounds. The seasons often change towards winter.

Pound for pound it gives us anglers great drills and is the best "fighter" in Alaskan waters.

Due to its higher fat content in the meat, the "Silver" is unfortunately not suitable for cold smoking. Hot-smoked, pan-fried or grilled, it tastes really good.

Pictures left and right

Beautiful coho salmon from the Kenai River

Pink Salmon (humpy, pink salmon)

The Humpy's move to our Kenai River every 2 years. Unfortunately, this always happens together at the end of the late run of the sockeye salmon. The dreaded Humpy year!

The Humpy's are unfortunately anything but suitable for our palate and the smokers. With their almost white, very spongy flesh, they are usually referred to as "dog food". While some locals or newcomers may claim the fresh humpy roe (girl) meat is excellent on the grill or hot smoked - I think these are excuses as the younger gals tend to be mistaken for a socky salmon.

Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden 

From May to October these "cold water beauties" are omnipresent. The best time to catch them is in September, when they have gorged themselves on salmon eggs and often doubled in size.


Fishing is most fun with a light (fly) rod and correspondingly thin line.

But be careful: do not use triplets (for insiders)

Pictures: Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout

Halibut (the halibut)

Another popular fish is halibut, although it is caught in the Gulf of Alaska is caught and requires a certain seaworthiness. Halibut grows very large and if I'm not entirely mistaken the current world record is a specimen over 400 lbs (180 kg).

The device to "boat" this fish is correspondingly heavy - not necessarily my favorite activity.

Pictures:
 oben Halibut , left our "Halibut stretch" caught in the Gulf of Alaska on my first visit to Alaska in 1997.

below from left; Ilona doing the drill, our neighbors' catch of the day and a big fish

Finally, an (older) overview of salmon migrations  and fish occurrences in Alaska

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