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Chinook Salmon illustration

Chinook Salmon

World Record ~  97 Lbs 4 oz. Caught at the Kenai River, AK on May 17, 1985 by angler Les Anderson

Scientific name ~  Oncorhynchus Tshawytscha

Other names ~ King Salmon, Spring Salmon, Tyee, Black Mouth, Tule, White Chinook, Red Chinook

Identification ~ The Chinook salmon is blue-green on the back and top of the head with silvery sides and white bellies. The Chinook has black spots on the upper half of its body with gray/black mouth coloration. Colors change as the Chinook enters fresh water to spawn. The Chinook starts to loose its silvery shine and becomes dark olive or black on top with a red belly. They develop a ridge back and a hooked jaw.

Size ~ The Chinook is the largest of the 5 Pacific salmon species and can reach 58 inches in length and weigh up to 129 pounds. The typical angler caught Chinook Salmon is generally up to 36 inches in length and weigh up to 30 pounds.

Habitat ~ 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, Puget Sound, and the Fraser River system. Chinook are known to migrate vast distances and are found sparsely distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean. The age of Chinook adults returning to spawn varies from two to seven years. Most angler caught Chinook are taken while they enter the coastal areas and rivers to spawn.

Feeding Habits ~ Adult Chinook feed on small fish such as herring, also on pilchards, squid, and crustaceans.    

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