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Mystery Salmon: Fish ID please

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  • Mystery Salmon: Fish ID please

    Was down at the Homer Fishing Lagoon last month fishing for kings. At the cleaning table we met an old-timer cleaning a strange fish. He said it was a king but the fish looked nothing like the king I was cleaning. Compared to mine, his fish had 1) many noticeable spots on back AND sides passed the lateral line 2) white gums black mouth and tongue 3) spots on both lobes of the tail 4) NO "teeth" on the tongue and 5) the fish was overall stockier (wide caudal peduncle) and brighter (bluer) than my chromy king.

    My hunch is that it's a big buck pink as I've seen them to 25"+ but just not in their ocean form. We first thought it was a silver, but now having caught a few silvers, the fish looks nothing like them. Attached is a picture of the head which I had asked to keep for clear identification:


  • #2
    Someone on here said the winter feeder kings are from Oregon or WA and don't have the same black gums our kings have.

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    • #3
      Yep, I agree. It looks like a Pink. Your description matches that of Washington Fish and Game http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/pink.html
      "Miss Mary"
      Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

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      • #4
        Did the tail have large, oval spots? That's a sure sign of a pink. Looks like a silver to me with the white where the teeth come through and the bulbous nose starting to form.

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        • #5
          Scale size is a dead give away for me, amongst others like have been mentioned on a pink, the scaled are the size of the head of a pin. All other salmon species are way bigger 3-4x their size. Can't tell by this pic though.

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          • #6
            Wish I had taken a pic of the whole fish. I was too mesmerized by the old timer's filleting technique that I didn't snap a pic before all the meat was packed and bagged. As for the tail, I don't remember if they were bulbous, just noticeable enough to be remembered. Im pretty sure it was a big humpy that just got mixed in with the kings and silvers. Sure was a pretty fish, at that size the meat looked really nice and fatty too.

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            • #7
              could be a Chumpy ??
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              • #8
                Definate silver. The eye and the nose are a dead give away.

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                • #9
                  I compared a pink head caught at the lagoon versus a silver this past weekend. Pinks have a much skinnier and pointier mouth which is also all black, compared to the black and white mouth of the silver. The heads between the two are also shaped slightly different as well. By the picture I would agree that this is definitely a silver

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                  • #10
                    Silver for sure
                    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CA_Blacktail View Post
                      Was down at the Homer Fishing Lagoon last month fishing for kings. At the cleaning table we met an old-timer cleaning a strange fish. He said it was a king but the fish looked nothing like the king I was cleaning. Compared to mine, his fish had 1) many noticeable spots on back AND sides passed the lateral line 2) white gums black mouth and tongue 3) spots on both lobes of the tail 4) NO "teeth" on the tongue and 5) the fish was overall stockier (wide caudal peduncle) and brighter (bluer) than my chromy king.

                      My hunch is that it's a big buck pink as I've seen them to 25"+ but just not in their ocean form. We first thought it was a silver, but now having caught a few silvers, the fish looks nothing like them. Attached is a picture of the head which I had asked to keep for clear identification:

                      Looks like a halibut to me.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
                        Looks like a halibut to me.
                        Yeah...a one eyed halibut or flounder for sure...

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                        • #13
                          Mouth photo + description = Silver.
                          ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
                          I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
                          The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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