Vancouver Salmon Species

The 5 Pacific Salmon species:

chinookChinook salmon are present in local waters year round. From November –May they are referred to as “feeders” as they are in their juvenile stage. While not fully grown, they are aggressive feeders and are considered to be the best eating. They average in the 5-15 pound range. In May-June migratory Chinook heading to their spawning grounds begin to appear in our local waters. In summer through fall Chinook continue to arrive and are the largest salmon of the year ranging upwards to 35-40 pounds.

CohoCoho salmon arriving in our waters are mature fish returning to the Capilano River system. This provides an exciting fishery literally minutes from our docks on Granville Island. The early returns start to arrive in late June, peaking in volume through late July, and continue to arrive at the river mouth through late September. These fish are not as large as Chinook, averaging in the 4-8 pound range. They are aggressive fighters, and are known for their tasty, bright red flesh.

Sockeye salmon are recognized worldwide as the icon of the pacific salmon species. They are prized for their deep red flesh and flavour. Sockeye school in very large numbers and typically arrive locally from mid July thru early September. These fish average in the 8-10 pound range.

PinkPink salmon returns can be the most plentiful of the 5 species, and have been counted in the multi millions. Unique to this species, pinks return to south coast river systems only on odd numbered years (eg 2013, 2015…).This is an ideal fishery particularly for young and novice anglers as they are plentiful and range in the 4-8 pound range. Fishing for pinks spans mid July through September.

ChumChum salmon return to local waters from September through November. They average from 10-20 ponds. They are not known as aggressive biters, but are hard fighting fish once hooked. Chums are generally not as prized as the other species but are very tasty particularly when cured and smoked.