AKA: Red Salmon, Reds, Blueback Salmon
Kokanee Salmon (when landlocked)
Image courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service
Ocean: Long torpedo shape with a blunt snout. They have a bright silver, uniform, and shiny color with a green to green blue back.
Spawning: In Fresh water Alaskan Sockeye Salmon take on darker shades of red with a green head. Snout and teeth both become more curved. A smaller arch forms in the back.
Adult Sockeye Salmon typically weigh from 6-8 pounds, with some exceptional fish reaching 10-14 pounds. Alaska State Record for Sockeye Salmon is 16 pounds.
Sockeye Salmon are excellent table fair, and are one of the most targeted food fish in Alaska. They have BRIGHT red flesh and a very high fat and oil content. They are very tasty when just simply grilled with some salt and pepper. They can be prepared grilled, BBQ, smoked, baked, pan seared, and broiled.
Sockeye Salmon are smaller than most other types of Salmon, and they are not known as great fighters. Fishermen targeting Sockeye are typically fishing for food more than for fun, but fun can be had with light tackle. Fishing for Sockeye Salmon is most often done using nets because they are not very aggressive, but dip netting for Sockeye Salmon is only permitted for Alaska residents. Some luck can be had fishing for Sockeye on the fly, or with small spinners or spoons which can irritate the fish into a strike.
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