BC salmon species

Amazing BC Salmon Species | Fishing Salmon BC

Learn more about BC Salmon Species. Absolute Sportfishing charters in Campbell River is committed to getting you to the big one, our mission is to provide you with every opportunity targeting different BC Salmon types when fishing for salmon in Campbell River, Vancouver Island. We want you to experience and have the chance to reel in some reel nice fish; pun intended. 

Below is a detailed biography of BC salmon species that are passing through or call the Campbell River their home. When Salmon Fishing on Vancouver Island you have the opportunity to catch these amazing fish.

Top BC Salmon Species Campbell River

Chinook Salmon White Background - bc salmon species image

(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Chinook Salmon

(also known as Spring, King, Blackmouth or Tyee)

The most prized salmon species in BC being the Chinook (Spring, King, Blackmouth) salmon are the most-sought-after salmon of sport fisherman. 

They reside in the deep ocean for 4 to 7 years before returning to their birth river. Down-riggers are almost essential to assist in getting the fishing lures down to their depths. 

A Tyee is a Chinook salmon greater than 30 pounds (14 kilograms). They are mighty and can take run after run emptying your reel each time. The size range is 5-30+ pounds with many mid-twenties being common June through mid September. 

The meat is most often red but can be white or even marbled. Large Chinooks are best smoked while smaller ones are perfect for the BBQ. You are likely to catch this species when salmon fishing Vancouver Island.

bc salmon species image

(Oncorhynchus kisutch)

Coho Salmon

(also known as Silvers) 

The Coho (Silver) can start arriving in June and are such a great salmon to fish. They are hard-hitting acrobats that dance along the surface and challenge you several times before you land them. 

They range in size from 4-20 pounds. Coho are excellent for table fare, steaks, canning or smoking.

salmon fishing Vancouver Island - bc salmon species image

(Oncorhynchus nerka)

Sockeye Salmon

(also known as Red Salmon)

Sockeye spawn in lakes and small feeder streams. Their young live in lakes for a year or more before making their way to the open ocean and are mostly plankton feeders. 

Sockeye are prized for their bright red flesh and are commercially the most valuable Pacific salmon. They range in size from 5-12 pounds and can occasionally exceed 15 pounds.

Pink Salmon White Background - bc salmon species

(Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

Pink Salmon

(also known as “Humpies”)

The Pink Salmon arrive in large numbers and on odd-numbered years (eg. 2017 or 2019) they migrate in the millions. They are the smallest Pacific salmon, averaging 3.5 pounds (1.6 kilograms) to 5 pounds (2.1 kilograms) and can reach 12+ pounds. 

They are feisty and put up a strong fight for their size. They are perfect fish for beginners or youngsters to reel in and fit nicely on the barbecue. They are also excellent canned or smoked.

Chum Salmon White Background - bc salmon species

(Oncorhynchus keta)

Chum Salmon

(also known as “Dogs”, Keta, or Calico)

This is the second largest and the latest salmon to arrive in Campbell River. They are usually start showing up in August and their numbers peak throughout October, showing up in large schools making for great action. 

Chum are powerful salmon and will put you and your tackle to the test. Pound for pound they are probably the toughest fighting salmon and they average 8-20 pounds. 

They are great salmon for smoking and the best for Candy Smoked, a local West Coast favorite. They are a great way to finish off the prime salmon fishing season in Campbell River.

*Salmon Photos by Government of Canada

Fishing Salmon BC

British Columbia, Canada is known for its world-class salmon fishing opportunities. The province has five species of salmon, including Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Pink, and Chum. Here are some tips for fishing salmon in BC:

  1. Timing: The best time to fish for salmon in BC depends on the species you’re targeting. Chinook salmon run from May to September, while Coho run from June to October. Sockeye run from August to September, Pink salmon run from July to September, & Chum Salmon September to October.

  2. Location: BC has many rivers, streams, and Pacific Ocean locations that are great for salmon fishing. Some of the most popular spots include the Fraser River, Skeena River, and the Campbell River (Known as the Salmon Capital of the World).

  3. Gear: To catch salmon, you’ll need a rod and reel with a line weight of at least 8-10 pounds. You’ll also need a fishing license, and depending on the location, you may need a salmon conservation stamp.

  4. Techniques: There are many different techniques for salmon fishing, including fly fishing, spin casting, and drift fishing. It’s important to use the right technique for the location and species you’re targeting. 

  5. Regulations: Absolute Sportfishing Charters will make sure you are kept up to date on the latest fishing regulations and restrictions.

Salmon fishing BC can be an exciting and rewarding experience. With the right gear, techniques, and knowledge of the area, you’ll have a good chance of catching a prized salmon.