There’s plenty to see and do during a visit to Sointula. Take a hike through the island’s pristine forests. Go whale watching at the famous whale rubbing beach at Bere Point Regional Park. Stroll through town and sample authentic Finnish pastries or stop by the museum to learn about the unique history of the island and its settlement. 

Of course, one of the most popular activities to enjoy during a visit to Sointula is fishing. While there are dozens of types of fish you might reel in during a fishing excursion on Malcolm Island, most visitors are hoping to catch one of the 5 famous BC salmon species.

Planning to visit a fishing lodge or book a day of fishing during your time in Sointula? Keep reading to learn more about the 5 BC salmon types you might get lucky enough to reel in during your visit.

The 5 BC Salmon Species

The waters surrounding Malcolm Island are home to all 5 of the native BC salmon species, also collectively known as Pacific salmon. Despite all 5 being members of the same species, each of the 5 is unique in appearance, behavior, and size. After reeling in a massive Chinook salmon, which can reach nearly 130 pounds, you might be surprised to reel in a tiny Pink salmon, which typically weighs just 4 to 7 pounds.

Despite their differences, all 5 of the BC salmon species are anadromous, which means that they travel on set cycles in between fresh and saltwater. All of the BC salmon types are born in freshwater streams and rivers in inland regions of British Columbia, as well as Alaska and the Northern continental U.S. After hatching, they travel to oceans and inlets, and live much of their lives in saltwater. They only return to freshwater to spawn.

Let’s take a closer look at the 5 BC salmon types you might see during your visit.

Pink Salmon

The smallest of the 5 BC salmon species is the Pink salmon. As their name suggests, these small salmon are pink in color. The males are easier to identify, thanks to their humped backs and a v-shaped fin on their backs. These salmon average just 4 to 7 pounds when fully grown. 

Sockeye Salmon

The next smallest of the BC salmon types is the Sockeye salmon. These fish typically weigh between 5 and 15 pounds. The Sockeye salmon is one of the most iconic of the Pacific salmon species, thanks to the male’s bright red-orange color on their bodies and green heads. However, as they get this color when they return to the river where they were born, you likely won’t see it while fishing along coastal British Columbia. You will see their hooked jaws and small, but sharp teeth if you’re lucky enough to reel one in.

Coho Salmon

In terms of size, the Coho salmon falls right in the middle of the 5 BC salmon species. Sometimes called “Silvers” or “Bluebacks,” these salmon average between 25 and 30 pounds when fully grown. They are chrome in color, and are a popular target for sports fisherman because they are considered tricky to catch. They put up a fight on the line, and are known for being aggressive and acrobatic. First time reeling one in? When you book a stay at a fishing lodge or a day trip fishing excursion, you’ll have an experienced guide there to help!

Chum Salmon

The Chum salmon, also known as “Dog” salmon, averages between 10 and 30 pounds. Much like the Coho salmon, these can also be challenging to reel in, though they aren’t as popular for eating as the other BC salmon types. These salmon are easy to spot for their dark horizontal stripe that runs along either side of their bodies.

Chinook Salmon

The largest, and perhaps the most popular, BC salmon species to reel in is the Chinook salmon. These incredible fish can reach a whopping 130 pounds, though most average around 30 pounds. Also called “King” or “Spring” salmon, the Chinook is particularly popular for eating!

Casting a Line for BC Salmon Species

Dreaming of casting a line and reeling in one of these incredible BC salmon species? Sointula is a popular destination for fishermen, thanks to its remote location and abundance of great fishing in the waters that surround it.

The best way to increase your odds of catching a salmon is to book a day trip fishing excursion or a stay at a fishing lodge during your visit. Your experienced guides will provide all of the right equipment, lures, and bait, and help you find the best fishing spots.

Ready to start planning your next trip? Check out our fishing resources for Sointula to get started!