ADF&G. Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Anadromous. Meaning fish that hatch in streams or lakes, move to salt water and  return to spawn in fresh water. All Pacific salmon are anadromous.

Blood line. A line of blood located along the backbone of the fish. It is removed  by processors prior to the fish being frozen or further processed.

Chinook salmon (king). The largest salmon species, averaging 25.5 lbs. Its meat is very  valuable and desirable. King salmon are usually caught by gillnetters  and trollers.

Chum salmon (dog). A less valuable species. The meat is best when smoked.   Called dog salmon in part because of the hooked snout and protruding dog-like teeth which become prominent when spawning.

Closure. Period of time closed to fishing.

Coho salmon (silver). Alaska’s third most valuable salmon. Average size is 8 to 12 lbs., but can reach 30 lbs. 

Fishery. The area, fishing method, and time period in which a specific species of fish is harvested. The Copper River drift gillnet sockeye salmon harvest would be considered a fishery.

Floating processor. A  vessel that processes fish at sea. Larger processor vessels house and employ many processors and crew. They often anchor in bays located near popular fishing grounds.

Gillnetting. A harvesting technique employing fine-filament nets that are set across  the path of migrating salmon. Salmon swim into the net and their heads become trapped in the meshes of the net.

Glazed. A process in which salmon is blast frozen, glazed-dipped in water, then blast frozen again, ensures absolute integrity and quality of Gulkana Seafoods-Direct premium processed Copper River salmon. 

GPS. A satellite global positioning system used for navigation.  Vessels equipped with a GPS are usually safer than ones without it.

H & G. A processing term that stands for “headed and gutted.” Many offshore floating processors remove the head and guts of harvested fish before freezing them.

Harvesting. Catching and keeping fish using a variety of fishing methods.

King salmon. Another name for chinook salmon.

Migration. The movement of a species from one area to another. In Alaska, the largest migration is the salmon migration, where fish move from salt water to their fresh water natal streams.

Opener. Period of time to fish, authorized by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).

Pink salmon (humpy). The smallest and least valuable of all salmon. They are found in large quantities and are used for canning. The name humpy comes from  the large hump which forms on the male’s back during spawning.

Processing plant. Onshore buildings where seafood is processed and stored. Most plants are located in or near towns with large fishing fleets. They employ many seasonal workers.

Roe. The proper name for fish eggs. Salmon eggs are processed and sold for consumption. Japan is the largest roe market.

Sockeye salmon (red). Alaska’s most valuable fish. They account for almost 30 percent of all harvested salmon. The name red comes from the male’s bright red color when spawning. 

Sounder. An electrical device used to determine depth of water. A sounder is also used to locate schools of fish and other large underwater obstacles.

Spawning. The process of laying eggs and fertilizing them. Salmon spawn in fresh water and die afterwards.

Tender. A type of vessel that travels to fishing vessels, buys their fish, sells them supplies and returns to off-load at both onshore and offshore processing facilities.