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Seven Most Common Types of Fish You Can Catch on an Alaskan Fishing Trip

Whether you’re a novice fisherman or a seasoned angler, being up to speed on what species of fish you can fish for, and where, is good to know. This is not only true where your frying pan is concerned, either, as often times there are state or county regulations as to which species are protected—either with “no fishing” areas or catch and release restrictions—or in season for reeling in.

When planning your Alaskan fishing trip, it’s a good idea to do some fish-related research in advance. With that in mind, here are seven species of fish found in Alaskan waters.

Alaska freshwater fish

  • Rainbow trout: Next to salmon, rainbow trout are what fishermen come to Alaska to fish for. Rainbow trout are a native game fish that also live in the sea, and are also known as steelhead trout. From all over the world, hard-core anglers gather for an exciting Alaskan fishing trip to fish the waters of Alaska for the challenge of reeling in this wild swimmer.
  • Cutthroat trout: When fishing Alaska streams and lakes in the southeast coastal portion of the state, you can fish for cutthroat trout. Cutthroats are popular game fish in Alaska, especially for fishermen who enjoy fly-fishing. Fun fact—they are named “cutthroat” due to a distinctive red color across the underside of the fish’s lower jaw.
  • Dolly Varden: The Dolly Varden is a type of lake trout that’s plentiful in the cold waters of Alaska’s streams and lakes. This fish can be recognized by an olive green gray color on its back and sides, light yellow spots on its body and whitish belly.

Alaska saltwater fish

  • King salmon: Alaska is well known for its salmon, and Alaskan waters are swarming with a bounty of species of salmon, including the king salmon. Also known as Chinook, the king salmon is the largest and most sought after of all salmon species. But be advised—they can reach up to 120 pounds! If the fish has blue-green spots running along its back, you’ve reeled in a king.
  • Coho salmon: Referred to by another name (silver salmon), this salmon displays a glimmering silver color and can weigh up to 15 pounds during prime salmon fishing season. Cohos are frequently caught by commercial fishermen, making them likely to end up in a grocery store near you.
  • Sockeye salmon: Of the smaller salmon species, there’s the sockeye salmon. Also called red salmon because of its bright red flesh, sockeyes are slimmer than other salmon and weigh an average of seven pounds. They hold value for their high oil content, which makes reds a popular target for fishermen in Alaska.
  • Halibut: Halibut are bottom dwellers, living primarily on the ocean floor. If catching one of these white flatfish is your goal, prepare yourself for hours spent fighting with it—Pacific halibut can weigh hundreds of pounds!

Regardless of whether your fishing expedition takes you far south, up north or swinging all around Alaskan waters, the fish you catch will be fresh and you will go home with a whale of a tale to tell. During your Alaskan fishing trip, let Phantom Tri-River Charters be your guide—we want to help you create memories that will last a lifetime.