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Salmon fishes originated 6,000,000 years ago. But archaeologists discovered salmon 5,000 years ago. The first salmon was found in the Pacific Northwest during the Pre-1800s by coastal dwellers. You can salmon fish in several states of the USA.

What states have salmon fishing? South Dakota, Maine, Alaska, New York, New Hampshire, Washington, California, etc., are the top states for salmon fishing. These have some particular lakes, rivers, and oceans which contain various species of salmon fish.

What States Have Salmon Fishing

What States Have Salmon Fishing?

Not all states in the USA have salmon fish. Some states have a considerable number of salmon fish, some have a limited amount, and some don’t have any at all.

If you are wondering which are the best states for salmon fishing, keep reading this article to get a perfect idea.

01. Lake Oahe, South Dakota

Will you believe me if I tell some unique salmon are available in a mid-western state like South Dakota? The cold, deep water habitats of this lake make it a top location for salmon fish.

Being the fourth largest reservoir in the United States, Lake Oahe and Oahe Tailwaters is well-known for having a good number of giant Chinook salmon.

According to the Journal of FisheriesSciences, 1,127,529 to 130,364 salmon fishes were stocked yearly from 1984 to 2015.

Besides, Lake Oahe has Atlantic salmon. They do not occur naturally. Instead, the local authority has stocked them in recent years.

However, Atlantic salmon is available in a small amount compared to Chinook salmon.

May, June, and July are the best time to catch salmon due to ideal fishing conditions.

02. West Branch Penobscot River, Maine

When it comes to finding a wild piece of water, West Branch Penobscot River in Maine is the top choice.

This beautiful river is notorious for having a thriving population of Wild Landlocked Salmon.

According to the Department of Marine Resources, more than 100,000 Atlantic salmon return to Atlantic salmon every year.

The river has many deep pools along with slate ledges. This makes it an ideal spot for salmon fishing.

Fishermen can catch up to 25 inches of landlocked salmon from this river.

03. Bristol Bay, Alaska

Do you know which state has the most productive ecosystem for salmon fish? It is the Bristol Bay, which has a rich source of food and nutrients.

There are five types of salmon species available in Bristol Bay, Alaska: King (Chinook) salmon, pink salmon, Coho salmon, Chum, and Sockeye.

Can you guess how much Sockeye salmon are available in Bristol Bay?

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, more than 76 million Sockeye salmon will be available in Bristol Bay till 2022. It is 44% higher than the previous 10-year average.

The weight of adult salmon in Bristol Bay can be anywhere from 15 to 80 pounds. But most anglers find 25 to 50-pound salmon fish on average.

If you want to catch King Salmon, it is best to choose Mid-June to late July to get a good amount of catch.

04. Lake Ontario, New York

Do you know a unique geographical landscape is located in a unique geographical landscape? This special lake has two types of Pacific Salmon: Chinook salmon and Coho salmon.

The water quality and habitat improvements make it an ideal choice for salmon. An introduction of a huge number of salmon makes it a perfect place for recreational fishing.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the local authority stocks around 1.7 million Chinook salmon and 250,000 Coho salmon annually.

However, a small number of Atlantic salmon are also available in Lake Ontario. Their average size is 5 to 20 pounds.

June, July, and August are the best time to catch salmon fish in Lake Ontario. Oak Orchard, The Bay of Quinte, Pulaski, Oswego, etc., are the top spots for salmon fishing.

05. Kenai River, Alaska

Do you know which river is one of the bigger producers of sockeye salmon fish? It is Kenai River, Alaska.

The river has four species of salmon: pink salmon, Coho salmon, King salmon, and sockeye salmon.

Every year 15,000 and 25,000 King salmon return to the Kenai River. But the number can be as high as 60,0000 in some years.

Small-sized salmon weigh between 8-12 lbs. and 5-8 lbs. However, giant-sized salmon are also available. Their average weight can be anywhere from 50 to over 80 pounds.

If you are a salmon lover, visit the Kenai River between August and September to get the real feel of fishing.

If you want to catch sockeye and silver salmon, Cunningham Park is the top spot for catching them. It is situated in the lower area of Beaver Loop Road.

06. Rapid River, Maine

Located between Lower Richardson and Umbagog Lakes, Rapid River has a healthy number of landlocked salmon.

You can catch up to 3 bags of salmon. But it is prohibited to catch any salmon which is less than 12 inches long.

Most experienced anglers recommend catching salmon in Rapid River, located between Lower Dam and Lake Umbagog.

You can explore downriver from Middle Dam to Lower Dam. It is an excellent location to spend the whole day as you will find a wide range of fish from this spot.

Spring and fall are the best times to catch salmon. May is one of the best months for catching salmon due to higher water after rainstorms. Salmon is more active during this period.

07. Merrymeeting River, New Hampshire

Can you guess one of the clearest lakes in New Hampshire? It is Merrymeeting River, which is also one of the most desirable lakes in NH.

What type of salmon is available in Merrymeeting River? It usually has a good number of land-locked salmon and a small number of Atlantic salmon.

It is best to catch fish when Merrymeeting River has high levels of water. After all, there is an increased number of Smelt.

According to most local anglers, May and June are the best time to catch fish from Merrymeeting River.

Wondering about the best fishing spot in Merrymeeting River? Target route 140 below Alton Dam and Route 11 at Jones Field if you want to get a plenty number of salmon.

08. Salmon River, New York

You can guess why it is named Salmon River. People also call it “The River of No Return.”

This river has three types of salmon: Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Atlantic salmon (or landlocked salmon),

According to the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, the local authority stock approximately 300,000 Chinook salmon, 80,000 Coho salmon, and 30,000 Atlantic salmon every year.

If you want to catch King and Coho Salmon, visit the river between late August to early September. However, mid to late October is the best time to catch Atlantic salmon.

The “Lower Fly Zone” and the mouth to the dam at the Lighthouse Hill Reservoir are the two best spots for salmon fishing.

09. Wind River, Washington

Situated on the Washington side of the Columbia River, Wind River is a top tourist spot.

The river has a healthy number of Chinook salmon. There is no restriction regarding the minimal size of salmon fish.

 However, you can’t catch more than two Chinook salmon daily. But you can catch up to 6 fish in total.

May and June are the best two months for catching Chinook salmon from Wind River.

The mouth of the Wind River and Bonneville are the two popular locations to catch salmon.

10. San Francisco Bay, California

Do you know which bay has a key link in the Pacific Flyway? San Francisco Bay is bestowed with many natural beauties.

It is one of the best spots for catching Chinook salmon. Anglers usually visit this bay during the summer and fall months. A healthy number of salmon is available from late April to October.

The bay has five species of salmon fish: Pink salmon, Chinook or King salmon, Sockeye or red salmon, Chum or dog salmon, and Coho or silver salmon.

In 2021, the local government initiated the introduction of 17 million salmon into San Francisco Bay.

According to CBS News, they generate more than $900 million annually for recreation and commercial fishing.

Fisherman’s Wharf, Bon Tempe Lake, Pier 7, Pillar Point Harbor, Lake Chabot, etc., are the top spots for fishing in San Francisco Bay.

Final Verdict

Regardless of your age, background, or gender, Salmon fishing is fun for all. You just need to know the technique to catch fish.

However, choosing the best location is essential too. Otherwise, you will spend the whole day without catching a single fish.

I have already mentioned the 10 best fishing locations across the USA. Choose a particular spot near your living location.

But if you are dedicated fishermen who love to explore various fishing spots, don’t forget to these mentioned locations. Now, you know what salmon fishing spots are.

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