The Pacific salmon’s journey is nothing short of miraculous.
Each salmon starts its life as a small egg in a freshwater gravel bed (a “redd”). Once it hatches, the baby salmon feeds and grows, gradually making its way from the freshwater out to the open saltwater where it fully matures and grows over the span of several years. Once ready to mate, the adult salmon migrates back from the open ocean to its original headwaters. Soon after the adult salmon spawn and bury their fertilized eggs, they then die and decompose, providing essential food and nutrients to the local watershed. And the cycle begins again.
In the Taku River we are fortunate to have all five of North America’s Pacific salmon species. This means that we get to enjoy nearly six months of fresh, beautiful wild salmon, starting in May with the return of the mighty kings and ending in October with the final push of fall cohos. Each species has its own story to share and plays an integral role in our local ecosystem.
Chinook - The largest of all the Pacific salmon species, Chinook have a rich, smooth flavor and higher oil content then the other salmon species. Makes a memorable centerpiece.
Average size: 18 lbs
Harvest season: early May – mid August
Coho – Cohos have a mild, clean flavor that lends itself perfectly to any cooking preparation. Taku Cohos™ are especially unique when compared with other river systems given their consistently firm meat texture.
Average size: 10.5 lbs
Harvest season: early August - late September
Sockeye – The Taku produces some of Alaska’s largest, most beautiful sockeye (or “reds"). With a brilliant red meat, firm texture, and distinct flavor, it’s no surprise that Taku River Reds™ are our flagship salmon.
Average size: 7.25 lbs
Harvest season: late June - early August
Keta – Chum salmon (or "keta") often return in abundance to the Taku Inlet and surrounding watersheds. A versatile salmon that freezes and smokes well, keta are perfect for enjoying throughout the year.
Average size: 9 lbs
Harvest season: early June - early July
Pink – The perfect everyday salmon for a simple and healthy weeknight meal, pink salmon are ideal for cooking whole and enjoying with light, flavorful sauces.
Average size: 4 lbs
Harvest season: July - early August
Photos courtesy of Alaska Seafood