A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Fairbanks: 32°/55°/Partly sunny
Juneau: 32°/54°/Partly sunny
Smallest salmon are plentiful and fun to catch
Pink salmon -- also known as humpbacks or humpies because of the males' distinctive physique -- are fun to catch as they return in immense schools. Pinks are important to the state's canning industry.
The pink (Onchorhynchus gorbucha) is nicknamed "humpback" or "humpy" because of the distinctive hump the male develops at spawning time. Pinks use the streams of coastal Alaska as far north as Kotzebue.
The pink is the smallest of the five Pacific salmon species, with many running from 3 to 5 pounds. Spawning males develop a brown or black top and white belly; females become olive green with dusky bars or patches and a white belly.
12 pounds, 9 ounces, caught in 1974 in the Kenai Peninsula's Moose River by Steven A. Lee.
Each fishery's pinks develop on a two-year cycle, so some streams may have bank-to-bank pinks one year and relatively few the next year. Spinners, flies and spoons all work well.
Sources of information include the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.