Types of Salmon on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is a paradise for fishermen and is quickly becoming a world-renown destination for both salt and freshwater fishing. The prize catch? Salmon. Five different types of salmon can be caught from various areas on Vancouver Island! Check out the types below, starting with the most popular of the five.


Chinook Salmon

Alternative Names: King salmon, Tyee (30+ lbs)

Appearance: Blue-green/purple on back, silver on sides, black spots on tail and upper half

Size: 18-40lbs

Where to Catch: Ucluelet, Tofino, North Island

Time to Catch: June, July, August, September

Typical Fishing Style: Trolling –  strong fighter


Coho Salmon

Alternative Names: Silver salmon

Appearance: Dark blue backs, silver sides

Size: 10-20lbs

Where to Catch: Campbell River, South Island, Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Alberni, Bamfield

Time to Catch: late June, July, August, September

Fishing Style: Trolling, Casting – fast runner


Sockeye Salmon

Alternative Names: Kokanee salmon, red salmon

Appearance: blue/silver in the ocean, bright red with green heads when spawning

Size: 6-15lbs

Where to Catch: Alberni Inlet

Time to Catch: July – September

Fishing Style: Trolling – fast bite


Pink Salmon

Alternative Names: Humpback salmon

Appearance: Bright silver with oval spots on tail, humped back when spawning

Size: 3-10lbs

Where to Catch: East coast Vancouver Island

Time to Catch:  July – September

Fishing Style: Trolling and Casting


Chum Salmon

Alternative Names: Fall salmon, Keta salmon, dog salmon

Appearance: Green/Blue on top, Silvery below, slender

Size: 10-20lbs

Where to Catch: Port Hardy, Campbell River, Qualicum River

Time to Catch:  July – October

Fishing Style: Float fishing/jigging – hard fighter


No matter what type you catch, you can’t go wrong with a freezer full of fresh, Vancouver Island salmon. Each are good for different types of cooking and preparation, with tasty meat fit for a feast.

For more on salmon fishing on Vancouver Island, check out www.disocvervancouverisland.com/things-to-do/fishing

To book a charter on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, check out www.salmoneye.net