THIS FISH

King Chinook

Species

King Chinook

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Chinook or King salmon is the largest of the five species of Pacific salmon, commonly weighing more than 30 pounds (13 kg). These salmon hatch in fresh water, spend part of their life feeding in the ocean and then “run” back to their natal rivers to spawn and die. They range from San Francisco Bay to the Russian Arctic, often migrating thousands of miles into the North Pacific. The species is named after the Chinook native tribe in Washington State.

Chinook have a dark greenish to deep blue back and a silvery white belly. They have distinct spots along the back and tail, and a black gum line, giving it the nickname “black mouth” salmon. Its fillets can range from red to snowy white, which are often marketed as “winter” or “ivory” Chinooks. High in Omega-3 fatty acids, it is the oiliest salmon species, giving it a rich flavour.

King Chinook

One of the amazing sights of the world, the annual Chinook run happens each fall when, drawn by natural forces, the salmon return to the rivers which gave them birth, fighting their way upstream against powerful currents, waterfalls and rapids, determined to spawn. Once home, salmon lay thousands of fertilized eggs in the gravel and promptly die. Their carcasses provide food for bears, otters and eagles and return nutrients to the rivers and rainforests for the next generation of salmon. Over months, a salmon embryo develops an eye, hatches into an alevin, which carries a yolk sack for food, and then becomes a free-swimming fry. Chinooks remain in fresh water from three months to a year, depending on water temperature, before heading to the ocean. They spend two to seven years feeding in the North Pacific and then mysteriously find their way home to spawn and continue the cycle of life.

Fishing Methods

King Chinook Food Info