|Pacific NW Salmon
The Puget Sound and Coast
Pacific salmon has great cultural importance to Tribes throughout the Northwest. The salmon are sacred to our people and remain an intricate part of life spiritually, culturally and economically. A celebration is held annually by many tribal communities to welcome the returning salmon. As natural resource managers, Tribes operate Indian fisheries to protect weak stocks while enabling harvest opportunities on healthy stocks. The harvesting of salmon is an inherent right protected by treaties with the US government. Tribes and the state share in 50 percent each of the harvested salmon.
- There are five species of Pacific salmon, each varying in flavor, color of meat, size and weight.
Chinook (King or Blackmouth)
Chinook spawn in rivers and large streams, and commonly are found in the Snoqualmie, Cedar, Green, and White Rivers. They are olive brown to deep brown in color, with spots on its upper back and tail fin. Chinook are a white meat fish, and range from 24-60 inches in length.
Average Weight: 20 lbs. (up to 135 lbs.)
Available: May - Oct.
Sockeye (Red Salmon)
Sockeye spend their early lifecycle in a lake, and will later spawn in a connected body of water. They range from 20- 28 inches in length, and have a firm, dark red meat. They are a bright-red to reddish-gray (Puget Sound)
Average Weight: 7 lbs. (Coastal)
Average Weight: 3 lbs.
Coho (Silver Salmon)
Coho is sometimes confused with Sockeye because they spawn in the same streams; are similar in size and although they are bright silver, this salmon can turn red during spawning. Spots are found only on their back and upper tail fin lobe. They range from 17-38 inches in length, and color of meat is usually red. Weight: 15 lb.
Available: Jul-Oct. (Puget Sound)
Available: Jun-Oct. (Coastal)
Pink Salmon (Humpback Salmon)
Commonly found in rivers throughout northwest Washington, Pink salmon are silver with several oval spots. The smallest of the five species, they are also the most abundant. They primarily stay in freshwater and near-shore habitats during their life cycle, spawning in the lower reaches of coastal rivers. Pink salmon range from 17-19 inches in length, and meat is light in color. For fishing license requirements, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at fishhunt.dfw. wa.gov or call 1-866-246-9453. Fish & Wildlife "We take pride in, and value, our natural resources, our families and our communities. We are a unique part of America with unique governments recognized by the United States Constitution." Honorable Ron Allen, Jamestown S'Klallam
Average Weight: 5 lb (up to 12 lbs.)
Flavor: Very Mild
Available: Aug-Sept. (odd yrs. only)
Chum (Dog Salmon)
Chum resemble Sockeye, but have silver sides with small black spots. They live in watersheds near salt water, and are sometimes seen spawning in creeks that run into Puget Sound. The second largest of the species, Chum range from 30-42 inches in length, and have light pink to medium red meat.
Weight: 10 lb. Flavor: Mild
Note: Rare to Lake Washington and King County streams.