Every year, between 350,000 and 400,000 people go fishing in Alaska. Collectively, these people spend well over 1 million days fishing.

This has helped create a bustling recreational fishing industry in Alaska. People come from all over the country and, in some cases, even the world to see what it’s like to fish in Alaska.

Fishing in Alaska is fun in large part because of all the different types of Alaskan fish you can catch. There are so many fish species in Alaska that will be available to you when you drop a line in the water in the state.

Today, we’re going to run through some of the various types of Alaska fish that you might find on the end of your fishing rod when you fish in the state. It’ll get you excited to go fishing in Alaska sometime in the near future.

Here are several of the most popular fish species in Alaska.

King Salmon


There are quite a few different types of salmon species found in the Pacific Ocean. But none of them are larger than the appropriately named king salmon.

With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that king salmon is the official state fish of Alaska. King salmon comes in at about 36 inches and 30 pounds on average. It makes them one of the most valuable fish species in Alaska.

If you’d like to give king salmon fishing a try, Kenai River Recon can serve as your fishing guide and lead you in the right direction. It’ll help you get your hands on the king salmon you’re looking for.

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon aren’t anywhere near as big as king salmon. But you’ll find them in much larger numbers, especially during the better fishing years in Alaska.

During these years, it isn’t uncommon for millions of sockeye salmon to flood the waters in and around Alaska. It’s easy to spot them as they’re a very deep red color. And if you’re able to catch them, sockeye salmon are known for being very high in protein, which is why you’ll want to eat as much of this type of salmon as you can.

Rainbow Trout

Some of the Alaskan fish on this list aren’t going to put up much of a fight when you try to catch them. You’ll be able to reel them in with ease.

Rainbow trout do not fall into this category! It’s a part of the reason why so many anglers enjoy trying to catch this fish in Alaska.

Rainbow trout will fight you to the very end and prove to be extra challenging to catch. They aren’t going to go down without battling you. If this appeals to you, you should look into the possibility of trying to catch this freshwater fish in Alaska.

Northern Pike

There aren’t too many fish in Alaska that will try to eat birds and even small mammals. But northern pike will attempt to do it whenever possible. They tend to gather along the shoreline to stalk their prey.

While northern pike is looking for their prey, you can also look for them. They’re another fish species in Alaska that will put up a little bit of a fight when you’re attempting to catch them. This makes fishing for northern pike more fun than fishing for some other fish species.

Arctic Grayling

Of all the different types of freshwater fish in Alaska, few will catch your eye quite as the arctic grayling will. These fish have one of the most unique appearances around.

For starters, arctic graylings have dorsal fins that are covered in red, blue, and purple spots that will glow at times. They also typically have other vivid colors that will really pop when the light hits them.

Plus, arctic graylings can grow to be pretty large. It isn’t that out of the ordinary to see some that will grow up to 24 inches long.

Pink Salmon

You might guess that pink salmon would be, well, pink. But in actuality, they’re usually either silver or greenish-blue.

So why in the world are they called pink salmon? Well, their internal flesh is pink. If you’ve ever eaten salmon before, there is a pretty good chance that you chowed down on pink salmon.


Alaska has gone to great lengths to preserve its pink salmon population because of how many pink salmon are harvested every year. They help bring in a lot of money to the state year in and year out.

Lake Trout

Many of the fish that appear on this list aren’t able to live for very long in the grand scheme of things. In fact, some of these Alaskan fish will die just a short time after spawning.

But lake trout are built differently. There are some lake trout that will live for over 60 years in certain cases.

As a result, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that many lake trout can grow to be quite large. Some of them will get to be up to 30 inches long and around 40 pounds.

Alaska has taken steps to try to prevent the overfishing of lake trout in recent years. The goal is to preserve the lake trout population in the state by stopping too many people from fishing for lake trout in certain places.

But if you’re able to swing it, the sheer size of lake trout will make it fun to fish for them. You’re going to go home with some great stories when you’re done.

Silver Salmon

Similar to pink salmon, silver salmon are another type of salmon that is harvested commercially on a large-scale level. Silver salmon are jam-packed with nutrients, and because of it, they’ve become a favorite among those who like eating salmon and seafood in general.

Silver salmon can flourish both in freshwater and out at sea, which is why there are so many of them throughout the state. They’re a part of the backbone of the valuable Alaskan fishing industry.

You might not be super excited to catch silver salmon because of how common they are. But it could be kind of cool to see at least one up close and personal so that you get a better appreciation of what they bring to the table for Alaskans.

Longnose Sucker

It won’t be too difficult for you to figure out where longnose suckers got their names. These Alaskan fish have long snouts and mouths that are designed to help them take part in suction feeding.

Most longnose suckers congregate in bodies of water that have gravelly bottoms where they can feed. This can make it tricky to get to them if you would like to try to catch one.

But if you are able to reel a longnose sucker in, you might be surprised to see just how large some of them are. They can grow to be up to two feet long, even though they feed mostly on fish eggs, mollusks, and algae.

Chum Salmon

Almost all Alaskan fish will migrate throughout the state to some degree. But there aren’t many of them that will migrate as far as chum salmon do.

Chum salmon are initially spawned in freshwater before heading out to sea. But when it’s time for them to spawn, they’ll migrate up to 2,000 miles upstream to go back to the freshwater that they originated from.


Chum salmon aren’t anywhere near as desirable as some of the other types of salmon that we’ve mentioned here. They don’t contain all the nutrients that other salmon do, and they also aren’t as fun to fish for as other salmon.

But there are some chum salmon that can grow to be up to 40 inches long and more than 30 pounds. These chum salmon can provide plenty of meat in the winter and have become an excellent food source for some Alaskans.

Set Out to Catch These Alaskan Fish

These are just some of the Alaskan fish that you’ll be able to catch when you’re fishing in Alaskan waters. But it’s really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the fish species in Alaska.

Before you make the trek to Alaska to go fishing, you should try to decide which fish species you want to chase after. It’ll help you set your sights on the right Alaska fish from the start.

Do you want to read some more sports and recreation articles? Look for them by scanning through the rest of our blog.

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