Lake Creek is home to all five species of Pacific Salmon. Because it’s a gravel bottom river, where salmon like to build their nests, Lake Creek is a perfect spawning ground.
King Salmon spend between one and five years in the ocean before returning to their native streams to spawn, though the average is three to four years. King Salmon is blue-green across their back and on top of their head with silvery sides and white bellies, black spots on the upper half of its body with gray/black mouth coloration.
King Salmon generally measure up to 36 inches in length and weigh up to 30 pounds. Spawning in streams that are larger and deeper than other salmon utilize, King Salmon spawn from midsummer to late summer, depending on the run. Fry and smolts usually stay in fresh water from one to 18 months before travelling downstream to estuaries, where they remain up to 189 days.
King Salmon in the Talachulitna River are unusually large, up to 60 inches in length and up to 70 pounds.
Silver Salmon are found in the coastal waters of Alaska from the Southeast to Point Hope on the Chukchi Sea, and in the Yukon River to the Alaska-Yukon border. Silvers are extremely adaptable and are found in nearly all accessible bodies of fresh water, from large trans-boundary watersheds to small tributaries.
Sockeye Salmon, unlike the other species of Pacific Salmon, feed almost exclusively on plankton. They’re able to do this as a result of their many gill rakers, which strain the plankton from the water. It’s speculated that this diet is the reason for the striking hue of their flesh. They also tend to feed on small aquatic organisms such as shrimp.
Chum Salmon spawn in the lowermost reaches of rivers and streams, typically within 100 km of the ocean. They migrate almost immediately after hatching to estuarine and ocean waters, in contrast to Coho, Chinook, Sockeye, Pink Salmon, Steelhead and Cutthroat Trout, which migrate to sea after months, or even years, in fresh water. This means that survival and growth in juvenile Chum Salmon depend less on freshwater conditions (unlike stream-type salmonids which depend heavily on freshwater habitats) than on favorable estuarine and marine conditions.
Another behavioral difference between Chum Salmon and most species that rear extensively in fresh water is that Chum Salmon form schools, presumably to reduce predation. Age at maturity appears to follow a latitudinal trend in which a greater number of older fish occur in the northern portion of the species’ range.
Most Chum Salmon mature between three and five years of age, with 60 to 90 percent of the fish maturing at four years of age. The species has only a single form (sea-run) and doesn’t reside in fresh water.
Pink Salmon are the smallest and most plentiful of all the Pacific Salmon. They average just 4.8 pounds, though the largest on record was 15 pounds and 30 inches long. They have small scales and large spots on their back, and large black oval blotches on both tail lobes. Spawning adults take on a gray color along their backs and sides, with a creamy white belly. The hump on their back gives them their nickname, humpy.
Because of their size and their aggressive nature, pink salmon are a fun fish to catch, and can be caught with conventional tackle or by fly fishing.
The Rainbow Trout in Alaska’s rivers are native born. These Trout provide the ultimate fly fishing adventure. A 6-weight fly rod while fishing for the rainbow trout is recommended. The pure strength these fish have is something of a marvel. It is possible to land an 8-10 pound Rainbow on our guided fishing trip.