Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wildlife Wednesday

As we wrap up our final week in Kodiak and my final Wildlife Wednesday, I thought it only appropriate to finally acknowledge the real root of why we are here: King Salmon.

inside view of Kings in the weir

King Salmon, actually called Chinook salmon, are the massive fish that we have been working with at the weir all summer. They are stocked in only 3 rivers on the island, one of which we live at and where we collect the “parents” that will stock all the other locations. They are the largest species of Salmon and can weigh up to 50 pounds here on the island.  Every time we see another massive fish, we are certain that that one is the biggest we have seen yet. In truth though, full grown Chinook measure somewhere between 24 and 36 inches and put up quite the fight. As Florida girls we are not strangers to water, but when a King Salmon doesn’t want to be caught, splash is all you catch.

King salmon captured at the American River to be added to the broodstock

The exception to this rule, though, is Jacks.  Jacks are male King salmon that swim back into the rivers one or two years earlier than normal to spawn. They are significantly smaller than their full-grown friends but are still fully capable none-the-less (also delicious).

King salmon: jack is on the left, full grown adult on the right

We’ve caught over 100 of these salmon in total now and are finally calling an end to our fish collecting and our trailer adventures. Now its time that we head back to Florida, with many of their fishy cousins packed snuggly in our suitcases, and say goodbye to our Chinook Salmon, knowing that they will always be Kings in our hearts.

PS. Finally saw a bear :)

 Elizabeth Fata


  1. Yes, they are the largest and the most difficult to catch, partly because they're less abundant than other species. So I guess that would make them the rarest!

  2. wow! Nice catch... Catch the largest salmon is the biggest achievement.. congrats!

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