Coho salmon

The Coho Salmon is an anadromous fish among its family of salmon. Oncorhynchus kisutch, its scientific name, is based on a common Russian name.

Adults differ in their appearance according to their sex. However, both males and females have dark backs with a head that is shaded maroon or red around the sides.

They can be distinguished on whether they are saltwater or freshwater dwellers by the spots on their back and tail fin. From Japan to Russia, the Coho Salmon can be found around the Pacific Ocean.


They are usually referred to as silver salmon due to their dark metallic backs shaded in blue or green with prominent silver sides and a light belly. They can weigh up to 8-12 lbs. and reach up to the size of 24-30 inches long.

Ocean coho has black spots on its back and tail, while freshwater coho has maroonish sides. Males develop a hooked snout with large teeth.

Habitat and Lifestyle

Coho salmon are usually found along the northern parts of the Pacific Ocean and the rivers or streams near the coast ranging from Alaskan waters to California Central.

They are commonly found in abundance in the North American continent around the coastal areas of Alaska and Oregon.

They can also dwell among the lakes within the United States, namely the Great Lakes and other landlocked water bodies.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

Baja California, as well as the Pacific coasts of Maine, Louisiana, and Maryland, hold a few of the Coho population. The Coho salmon has a species status that is considered endangered, and so it is illegal to fish and catch them. However, there are still catch-and-release methods you can use which will not harm their well-being, such as trolling. Gillnets must be avoided because they may unknowingly catch untargeted fish or even birds.

Peak Season

Salmon season, where wild Alaskan salmon can be enjoyed, runs from late July to the middle of October.

Best Bait

The best bait to use when trying to catch the Coho salmon includes:

  • Plugs
  • Spinner Baits
  • Spoons
  • Cut Bait
  • Freshwater Live Bait