Market Names: Salmon, Sockeye, Red, Blueback
Vernacular Names: Red fish, Spring-run Salmon, Summer Sockeye
Alaska Sockeye salmon have dark blue-black backs, silvery sides and white bellies while in the ocean. As the sockeye return upriver to their spawning grounds, their bodies turn bright red and heads take on a green color. Sockeye can measure 18 - 31 inches in length and can weigh from 4 - 15 lbs. The average sized Sockeye Salmon is 6-9 pounds and are 4-5 years of age. The Sockeye salmon's flesh is bright orange red in color and is the most sought after salmon in Alaska due to it's wonderful flavor and color. The Sockeye is second to the Pink salmon in total run size. Sockeye salmon are anadromous, living in the ocean but entering fresh water to spawn. They spend one to four years in fresh water and one to three years in the ocean. In Alaska, sockeye return to spawn in June and July.