Chinook, sockeye, coho, pink and chum are the five main types of Pacific and Alaskan salmon. A sixth type, the U.S. Atlantic salmon, is nearly extinct in the wild but is sold by salmon farms located off the coast of Maine, as of 2015.
Chinook, also known as king salmon, have flesh that ranges from white to deep red in color and are very high in fat. Many consider Chinook salmon to have the best flavor. Sockeye, also known as red salmon, have bright orange-red flesh color that turns deep red when they swim upstream to spawn. Coho, or silver salmon, have bright red flesh and an exceptionally silver skin. Coho salmon are plentiful in Alaskan waters and average about 10 pounds, though they may weigh in excess of 20 pounds.
Pink, also known as humpies or humpback salmon, are light in color and flavor and have a low fat content. They are the most common salmon in the Pacific, and many also swim the rivers and streams of Alaska. When pink salmon swim into fresh water, they develop a distinctive hump on their backs. Chum - also known as keta, silverbrite or dog salmon - have protruding teeth and pale-to-medium flesh. The flavor of chum salmon meat deteriorates quickly after the fish swim into fresh water, and it is often sold frozen or canned to foreign markets.