Chinook salmon

Chinook salmon
Common names
King
Tyee
Blackmouth (immature)
Latin name
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Category
Fish

State record

WeightAnglerLocationDate Caught
68.26 lbs Mark Salmon Elochoman River, Wahkiakum County October 5, 1992

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Description and Range

Physical description

Chinook salmon are the largest of the Pacific salmon, with some individuals growing to more than 100 pounds. These huge fish are rare, as most mature chinook are under 50 pounds.

Spawning
Most chinook spawn in large rivers such as the Columbia and Snake, although they will also use smaller streams with sufficient water flow. They tend to spawn in the mainstem of streams, where the water flow is high. Because of their size they are able to spawn in larger gravel than most other salmon.

Chinook spawn on both sides of the Cascade Range, and some fish travel hundreds of miles upstream before they reach their spawning grounds. Because of the distance, these fish enter streams early and comprise the spring and summer runs. Fall runs spawn closer to the ocean and more often use small coastal streams. All chinook reach their spawning grounds by fall, in time to spawn.

Rearing
Chinook fry rear in freshwater from three months to a year, depending on the race of chinook and the location. Spring chinook tend to stay in streams for a year; fish in northern areas, where the streams are less productive and growth is slower, also tend to stay longer. Rearing chinook fry use mainstems and their tributaries.

Size range
10-15 lbs, up to 135 lbs

Where to fish

Lakes where this species may be found

Benton County
Chelan County
Cowlitz County
Douglas County
Klickitat County
Okanogan County
Stevens County