Alaskan Salmon

Of all the Pacific salmon, the coho looks most like the Atlantic salmon. A sure way to tell the difference is by counting the anal fin’s rays (the hard, bone-like parts). Pacific salmon have 13 to 19 rays; Atlantics have 10 or fewer. Coho is also known as silver salmon, medium-red salmon (a canners’ term), Hoopid salmon, white salmon, blush salmon, silversides and jack salmon, though “jack” applies to all immature male salmon. Coho salmon are found on both sides of the Pacific, from southern California to Alaska, and from Russia to Japan. Alaska dominates global harvests of wild coho salmon, which are the backbone of Alaska’s salmon troll fishery, though some fish are taken by gillnets and seines. Cohos are also farmed in floating pens in Chile and Japan. Smaller than chinooks and larger than chum or sockeyes, market-size cohos average 4 to 12 pounds. Hatchery-raised fish are often smaller, running 2 to 3 pounds apiece.

 

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