Hooligan (Thaleichthys pacificus), otherwise known as "eulachon" or "candlefish", are a type of anadromous smelt that makes its way into a number of rivers in Alaska during the spring spawning run. They arrive in some river systems in the hundreds of thousands, and are an important forage species for eagles, gulls, bears and other species. The fish is found from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska, and the name "eulachon" is thought to derive from the Chinookan language. "Hooligan" is thought to be a derivative of the Chinookan name.
King salmon (onchorhynchus tshawytscha), known also as Chinook salmon, truly are the king of all salmon species in Alaska. Though distributed nearly state-wide, they particularly dominate the saltwater sport fishing roster as the most sought-after species available from Southeast Alaska into Prince William Sound, out to the Kodiak-Afognak island group and into the Bristol Bay area.
Pink, or "humpy" salmon (oncorhynchus gorbuschca), are by far the most abundant salmon species in Alaska. Found primarily in regions 1, 2 and parts of 4, they migrate into fresh water by the hundreds of thousands. Males are easily distinguished from females by the large hump that develops above the spine area, while the females maintain a more slender appearance. As they enter fresh water they begin to change in color from silvery to a darker olive hue, and often develop darker blotches that start along the back and extend down the sides of the fish.
Silver salmon (also known as "coho" salmon) are the mainstay of Alaska's sport salmon fishery in many areas of the state. They're aggressive feeders in salt water, and they readily strike lures and flies in freshwater.
Sockeye salmon, otherwise known as "red salmon" or more commonly, "reds" are, by far, Alaska's most popular salmon for freshwater anglers. Found in abundance from Southeast Alaska to Bristol Bay, reds are hard-fighting and they make wonderful table fare.