The Fish We Cook, Atlantic Salmon, Chum Salmon


The Atlantic salmon can be found on the east and west coast and in freshwater lakes and streams. There are also in some lakes that do not empty into the ocean. These are known as landlocked salmon and sometimes called ouananiche. The landlocked salmon is the state fish of Maine. Generally taken from saltwater in the Atlantic from Maine to Labrador the Atlantic salmon goes to freshwater streams to spawn just like its pacific cousins. This fish does not need saltwater to survive. Although the Atlantic salmon is native to the Atlantic ocean is has recently been introduced to the Pacific Ocean and on both coasts it is very popular with sport fishing. Due to high demand commercial farming has become a big business. Commercial fishing for Atlantic salmon is almost non-existent. More than 95 percent of it found on the market has been raised in fish farms. Chili is one of the biggest suppliers of farm raised Atlantic salmon to the United States. The Atlantic salmon has a steel-blue back and silver sides with many dark, cross-shaped spots that have light blue halos. Also known as silver salmon, landlocked salmon, bay salmon, Sebago and Kennebec, it averages 10 pounds and 30 inches in length and has been known to reach 79 pounds. It has a firm, layered meat that is rich in flavor and very high in fat and remains moist after cooking. The best ways of cooking Atlantic salmon is to bake, broil, poach or grill.


The chum salmon is one of the larger members of the salmon family averaging 10 pounds and 3 feet in length and sometimes reaching up to 40 pounds. It has a metallic blue back with sparsely speckled sides and a silver belly. It is abundant north of Oregon in the Pacific Ocean and can be found in freshwater streams where it goes to spawn. The meat of the chum salmon has a light pink color and has less oil than the other types of salmon. The least prized of the salmon they are not as important commercially as other types of salmon. The chum salmon also goes by the names of calico, keta, lekai, hayo and dog salmon and is often marketed as silverbrite salmon. It has a firm layered flesh that is rich in flavor and relatively high in fat content and remains moist after cooking. The best ways to cook chum salmon is to bake, broil or poach.