BC salmon species in bc

Absolute Sportfishing Charter in Campbell River is committed to getting you to the big one, our mission is to provide you with every opportunity targeting the salmon species in BC when salmon fishing Vancouver Island and chance to reel in some reel nice fish; pun intended. 

Below is a detailed biography of Salmon Species in BC that are passing through or call Campbell River their home. When Salmon Fishing Vancouver Island you have the opportunity to catch these amazing aquatic animals.

Chinook Salmon White Background

(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.

salmon species in bc

(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

(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

(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

(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

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