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Chinook Salmon

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Salmon Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Chinook Salmon


Common Name(s):
King salmon, spring salmon
Description:
The Chinook salmon is silver in color with dark spots. The spots on the Chinook salmon will generally cover all the head, back, dorsal and adipose fin as well as the squared tail. The Chinook can be distinguished from other salmon is by its black mouth and gums. The similar looking Coho has a black mouth and white gums.
Similar Fish:
Coho salmon, Atlantic salmon
Feeding Habits:
They feed on land and aquatic insects, amphipods, and other crustaceans such as while young, and primarily on other fish when older.
Range:
Chinook salmon range from Kotzebue Sound, Alaska, to Santa Barbara, California. Spawning and rearing Chinook are found in most of the rivers in this region, with significant runs in the Columbia River, Rogue River, and Puget Sound.
Habitat:
Chinook salmon remain at sea between 3 and 5 years. The Chinook choose to spawn in streams that are shallow, clear, and cold with a strong upwelling of water through the gravel.
Typical Size:
The Chinook salmon is the biggest of the salmon family reaching sizes up to 58 inches in length and a weight of up to 129 pounds; although Chinook salmon are generally 36 inches in length and weigh up to 30 pounds. The Chinook has a lifespan of 5 to 7 years.
World Record:
97 pounds, 4 ounces (Source - IGFA)