Types of Fish in Alaska

17 Types of Fish in Alaska

Cold is the first word that comes to my mind when I think about Alaska. Thus this means that the fishing environment might not be ideal in Alaska. However, you should definitely take the time to fish despite these environments. Alaska is home to many types of fish and they are all delicious when cooked properly!

#1: Rainbow Trout

You will be disappointed if you think this fish would have all the colors of the rainbow, it doesn’t. They only have blue, green, yellow, pink, and red which explains the name. Now how about the taste of the fish with pretty colors? I can tell you that the fish is quite delicious when cooked properly.

The best way to cook the rainbow trout from Alaska is by baking it to perfection. All you need is salt, lemon, and pepper for the fish!

#2: Dolly Varden

Look at this ferocious beauty of a fish, they are found in cold-water tributaries. Their faces are very distinct and they help people identify them. They are also unique in the sense that they grow extremely large the longer they live in Alaska. This makes them great eating if you catch them because they provide a lot of meat.

There are many fantastic ways to eat the wonderful fish. You could salt them, fry them, etc and they would all be delicious. They also go well with vegetables, potatoes, or whatever else you can think of. 

#3: Northern Pike

Here is another wonderful fish that also looks quite intimidating due to their size. They grow to be about 22 inches long and weigh about 34 lbs. You can find them around the world but to be more specific they can be found in fresh waters. Catching them is worth it because they make really delicious meals.

There are a variety of fish recipes around the world. They can be fried, crusted, or even made into patties. But in Alaska they are fried and normally served with fries. That means it normally goes well with tartar sauce, ketchup, or mayo. This is a classic fish and chip dish that no one will complain about!

#4: Sheefish

This fish has a beautiful silver and occasional blueish color. You can find them in your local freshwater.You can tell if they are fresh depending on the color of their flesh. They are quite white and become even whiter when you cook them. So if you know the fish doesn’t become white at any point then you know something is wrong.

Now the most important question is are they delicious? I can say with confidence that they are when following a recipe. In Alaska they are normally poached with lemon and bacon while wrapped in tin foil. What you get in the end is light fluffy fish meat that goes extremely well with the crispy bacon.

#5: King Salmon

Here we have the king of all the fishes in Alaska and for good reason. They have a higher fat content and contribute to a buttery texture which makes your salmon dish quite delicious. They are also found around the world but more well known in alaska. So if you want to look for this fish in Alaska, then your best bet is in the major rivers.

You can prepare this salmon the way you do normal salmon but that would be a waste of this magnificent fish. In Alaska they always prepare it with a wonderful sauce that goes well with the fish. The sauce should also have a deep flavor otherwise the fish will overpower the sauce. 

#6: Halibut

This is a pretty ugly fish to look at and it also looks like it would be difficult to prepare. They are also found pretty commonly since they are in most of the marine water in Alaska. The only problem is that you might not have the appropriate gear to fish these things. They can be found in depths up to 3600 feet!

Luckily for you that people have become experts in catching these fish. There are also a lot of recipes that make these fish into a local delicacy. They are baked with some common seasoning and that is all they need. The fish doesn’t need much else to show you why they are so valued!

#7: Pacific Cod

A rather famous fish in the Alaska saltwater sport fishery world. They can be mistaken for catfish due to the whiskers on their face. It isn’t something that you can normally find since they live in depths up to 900 meters. So your best bet is to find a trusted fish vendor and obtain your pacific cod from there.

These fish make excellent main courses. They also work extremely well with fish soup and fish chowder. Regardless of how you make them, the fish will always make the final product rich in flavor. So it is best to serve the fish with something light to balance out the complex flavors of the fish.

#8: Rockfish

You’ll find it funny why the fish is named rockfish. They didn’t get the name because of the color or their looks. They got the name because they alway run away and hide under rocks in Alaska when they feel danger. You need a specific lure to catch these fish and they are octopus lure. Catching these scaredy cats will be worth the effort since they are delicious!

Your best bet with these fish is to use some mexican cuisine. They are great when grilled and served with a sauce. You can make some fantastic tacos with these fish, just make sure to savor every bite!

#9: Burbot

Here we have another long fish that also looks frightening. This is rather unfortunate though because it has stopped people from trying it out. The fish is actually a great delicacy in Alaska and quite tasty when consumed. Your best bet with the fish is to fry it or prepare it like cod since they are kinda similar.

You will need a lot of gear to fish for burbot. The reason is because they live in ice which means the fishing temperature is cold. Not a great fish to fish for if you can’t stand freezing temperatures.

#10: Arctic Grayling

They are pretty similar to regular grayling. The only difference is that they don’t have dorsal and anal spines. If you decide to catch them in Alaska, they will mostly be small and you won’t find anything bigger. These are an excellent tiny delicacy.

The fish doesn’t need any help when you are trying to make any dinner. I know I say that a lot but this time they don’t really need much help to make something delicious. All you need to do is skewer them, use a little salt, and then fry them!

#11: Blackfish

They are also called tautog and are a fascinating fish. The reason for that is they are difficult to capture. They are commonly found in rocky places in Alaska and that poses a problem to fishers due to the fact that they can get the lines snagged. You also need very specific bait to hook them as well. 

They are very difficult fish to capture, so your best bet is the fish market. If you want to unlock the best flavors of the fish then you need to bake them. All you need is herb, butter, and then just bake them to perfection!

#12: Capelin

Capelin are fish that are found in places in Alaska filled with plankton. The reason for that is because the fish consumes them. You might be a little concerned about catching them because they are quite small. But they are definitely worth it if you just fry them.

Once the fish are fried you can add a sauce to help enhance the dish. Then you eat the whole thing, including the head and tail. It might seem a little off-putting but I can guarantee that they are delicious and edible.

#13: Chub

These fish are considered trash fish since they are supposed to not be tasty. The reason for that is because they are quite bony. But you can deal with that by making them into smoked fish. The smoking process helps remove the bones easily. The taste of the fish should be like any regular smoked fish.

If that was enough to stimulate your curiosity then you should help fish for them. They are normally in abundance because most people don’t want them. They can be found in the yukon river.

#14: Herring

Herring are normally found in large schools. If you want a chance at catching these fish then you need to look for them at night. The reason is because they don’t normally come to shallow rivers in the morning. You’ll be able to identify them by their distinct blue-green upper body.

If you decide to look for them at a fish market then you need to pay attention to the belly. They need to be bright and hard to be considered fresh. The best way to prepare them is by sauteing them and using a sauce of your choice.

#15: Mackerel

Mackerel is normally found in temperate and tropical seas. You definitely need to know about when they appear. Your best bet at catching mackerel is towards summer since they are in abundance. Fish any other time and you will have a tough time catching them. You will be able to identify them by their unique yellow stripes.

The best way to eat this fish is by using a herb based sauce. They go well with the fish when they are baked. Squeeze some lemon on the fish and you are making some magic in your mouth.

#16: Broad Whitefish

These are fish found in Alaska that are covered in silver scales. They are found in the yukon and kuskokwim river but you should definitely avoid the lakes, you’ll have a hard time catching them there. The size of their body is what distinguishes them from regular whitefish and that should help you identify them.

In Alaska, the best way to cook them is by using butter and lemon. This would make the fish very rich in flavor and that is okay. All you have to do is add lemon, butter, and then bake it. You should not feel guilty for treating yourself sometimes.

#17: Eulachon

The first thing you should know about this fish is that it will be hard to fish for. They are different from regular smelts due to the location of the dorsal fins. Depending on where you fish for it, you need to know about the color since it will help you identify them. They are blue-silver in salt water and gray-brown in freshwater. So it is possible for you to get euchalon in freshwater but you might not know it because you are looking for a certain color.

There is only one real way to eat this fish in Alaska and that is by frying them. Use some regular seasoning and whatever sauce you want. You will get a wonderful snack when you are done!

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