Butchering Yields For Salmon

How much yield should you get when you butcher a salmon?  Having a well trained fish cutter in your kitchen can save you a lot of money.  But if your fish guy is a hack, then you are loosing a lot of cash. These salmon butchering yield standards are achievable by your good cooks.  Your best filleters may get a 2% better yield. The yield percentages are for sides of salmon with basic trim done such as fins and rib bones removed and belly fat intact. See our fishmonger videos for an example ‘How To Fillet a Salmon Video.’

Salmon Yield Percentages
Wild Salmon
Item Skn/on Fillet Skn/off Fillet Notes

Chum Salmon

    Chum Round, Undressed H/On 60% 50%
    Chum Dressed, H/On 67% 56%
    Chum H/Off 81% 67%

Coho Salmon

    Coho Round, Undressed H/On 57% 51%
    Coho Dressed H/On 62% 55%
    Coho H/Off 76% 68%

King (Chinook) Salmon

    Whole Round, Undressed 55% 46%
    Dressed H/On 63% 52%

King Head/Off

    U/10 Kings 69% 62%
    10/Up Kings 72% 64%
    18/Up Kings 76% 67%
    Copper River Kings 10/Up 73% 66%

Pink Salmon

    Pink Salmon Round, Undressed 52% 42%
    Pink Salmon H/On 57% 46%
    Pink Salmon H/Off 74% 58%

Sockeye Salmon

    Sockeye Round, Undressed H/On 53% 46%
    Sockeye Salmon H/On 57% 50%
    Sockeye Salmon H/Off 72% 62%

Steelhead Salmon

Steelhead H/On 66% 60%
Steelhead H/Off 69% 62%
Farm Raised Salmon
Item Skn/on Fillet Skn/off Fillet Notes
Atlantic 2/4,  4/6 Head/On 68% 62%
Atlantic 6/10,  10/14 Head/On 70% 64%
Atlantic 14/18 Head/On 71% 65%
Atlantic 18/Up Head/On 72% 66%
Kings 2/4,  4/6 Head/On 68% 62%
Kings 6/8 Head/On 69% 63%
Kings 8/10 70% 64%
Kings 10/12,  12/14 71% 65%
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.

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Comments from before Site Migration

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DAVID BUCHANAN    [ Sep 16, 2013 ]

Surf & Turf – thanks for catching that. I double-checked my source and it’s clear that they had faulty info. I think they meant for both “Net” and “Troll” to be numbers for H/Off. I have fixed the error and updated other info as well.

SURF & TURF []    [ Sep 15, 2013 ]

I have a hard time with

King (Chinook)-Net Caught Head/Off = 72% for 18 up

King (Chinook)-Troll Caught Head/On = 72% for 18 up

How could 2 fish (same size & specie just net versus troll caught) have the same yield when you’re excluding the head weight on one versus the other? The head (without collar) is going to be roughly 1 lb. The yield percent on a 20 pounds fish versus a 21 pound fish that includes the head – you’re already starting with a 5% difference on the same fish. Just checking to see if the math is right.
I didn’t think a troll versus net caught of the same specie would need it’s own chart. I thought the yield would be the same. If it’s not, what are the factors that make it different.

DAVID BUCHANAN    [ Jan 03, 2013 ]

Thanks J!  I have corrected the table.

J []    [ Jan 03, 2013 ]

SkinOff has a better yield(Recovery) than skinon fillets. Please double check. Thank you.

Per the table

SkinOn = 68%

SkinOff = 72%

Atlantic 2/4,  4/6 Head/On 68% 72%


  • Johnny Smith

    @ DAVID BUCHANAN – Troll Caught is caught before it migrates up the river, at any period of it’s life cycle, to spawn, Most net caught salmon is of migrating fish due to treaties with the Native Americans..The are NOT the same fish net caught in the same manner. I always avoid net caught when I can. It rewards those that would endanger a species for profit only. Please learn more about Salmon be shooting off your mouth.,