Guide to Different Types of Wild Salmon

Guide to Different Types of Wild Salmon

Hey there, fish fans!

Salmon has consistently been one of the most favored fish in the United States. In 2020, it was the country's highest-value finfish, generating $478 million in earnings. Many individuals are unaware of the details regarding the pink fish from North America that they are eating.


We prepared for wild salmon season by speaking with three experts on the West Coast. The season runs from late April to early October. The experts discussed the various types of salmon found in the US.

Alaska salmon is a great source of Omega-3 and a sustainable option for seafood fans. Do you know that salmon life story before served on our plates?

And guess what, there is a world of difference between wild-caught salmon Alaskan beauties and their farmed Atlantic relatives. Let's explore wild Alaskan salmon and compare them to farmed Atlantic Salmon to see how they differ in taste and quality.

King (Chinook) Salmon: The Migratory Monarch

King salmon are globetrotters. King salmon live in waters from California to Alaska in the US and also swim into Asia.. It has a larger range compared to other species. King salmon has is rare, having the lowest salmon population.

Fish flesh color varies by river and diet before spawning in freshwater. The fillet can be red, pink, orange, white, or marbled. Fishermen catch the white or marbled variety in northern British Columbia and southeast Alaska.

Many consider king salmon fillets to be the best salmon money can buy. Rich in flavor, high in fat content, and substantial in size. Salmon starts in Alaskan rivers, then goes to the ocean for years, traveling far before returning to reproduce. This wild lifestyle gives them a rich, complex flavor that farmed Atlantic salmon just cannot match.

Farmed salmon, living a more sedentary life, often lack the depth of taste and texture found in their wild counterparts.

Sockeye (Red) Salmon: The Fiery Fighter

Some may find sockeye salmon to be the tastiest of all salmon, with a flavor that is fishier than others. They are typically available as smoked products, in premium salmon burgers, or as individual fillets. Sockeye is smaller than king salmon and leaner.

For years, salmon has been a favorite fish in the United States. In 2020, it was the most valuable finfish in the country, bringing in $478 million in revenue. Many delicious salmon recipes use smoked salmon.

Sockeye salmon, unlike farmed Atlantic salmon, has a richer taste and more nutrients because of its wild journey. A wonderful choice for those who enjoy bold flavors.

RELATED: Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon Burger with Florida Grapefruit and Tarragon Burger Sauce

Coho (Silver) Salmon: The Versatile Voyager

You can use Coho salmon in many dishes. Coho salmon may not be as famous as king or sockeye salmon, but it has many good qualities.

The moderate fat content of Coho Salmon results in a gentle, understated taste that isn't too overpowering. This process makes them taste less strong and gives them a soft texture. This makes them suitable for use in many dishes.

Farmed Atlantic salmon have a mild taste, while wild-caught cohos offer a fresher, better flavor that is unbeatable.

RELATED: Wild Alaska Salmon Ramen

Keta (Chum) Salmon: The Lean Wanderer

Keta salmon, with their epic migrations, have a leaner physique and a more delicate taste than their farmed cousins. Their life on the move makes for a lighter, subtler flavor, ideal for those who prefer a less fatty fish. Keta salmon has traditionally been an underdog, but it has risen in the ranks over recent years.

Farmed Atlantic salmon have more fat because of their controlled diet. This affects their texture and flavor compared to wild salmon. The controlled diet alters the way farmed salmon feel and taste.

RELATED: Sticky Sesame Alaska Salmon Taco


Pink (Humpback) Salmon: The Abundant Traveler

Pink salmon travel far and have the shortest life cycle among Alaskan salmon. This results in a tender, mild flavor that is fantastic for casual dining.

This Pink salmon, weighing between two and six pounds, possesses a light-hued, pink meat that is notably mild and low in fat. Most people typically process most of it into canned goods. Farmed Atlantic salmon is easy to find, but it does not have the special story or delicate flavor of wild pink salmon.

Wild vs. Farmed: A Flavorful Face-Off

Wild Alaskan salmon taste stronger and have firmer textures than farmed Atlantic salmon because of their adventurous lifestyles.

Alaskan salmon are rich in omega-3s and vitamins. They get these nutrients from their natural diet of marine nutrients in the wild. This healthy diet contributes to the high nutritional value of Alaskan salmon.

You can't buy wild Atlantic salmon anymore. The salmon in stores and restaurants is all raised on farms. Farm-raised Atlantic salmon has faced criticism for antibiotic use and pollution concerns. They also say the meat looks, tastes, and feels the same, lacking diversity.

Farmed salmon, though also nutritious, may contain various levels of fats and additives depending on their diet. The diet is often fish meal. Fish farmers raise Farmed Salmon, also known as Atlantic Salmon, in net pens.

People love Wild Alaskan salmon for fishing practices that protect salmon and their habitats. Farmed salmon’s impact varies. They are making efforts to support sustainability and reduce impact.

If you enjoy salmon, know the distinctions between wild Pacific salmon and farm-raised Atlantic salmon for better choices. Each salmon has a unique story. Choosing wild Alaskan salmon means choosing a flavorful, nutritious adventure that also helps the planet.

Dive into the wild side and taste the journey!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.