Chinook Salmon

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
The Chinook, or king, salmon is the largest of all salmon/USFWS Photo

Chinook salmon are also known as king salmon.  An average-size adult is about 20 to 60 pounds, but they can grow to several feet long and weigh over 100 pounds.  These large fish, not surprisingly, spawn in larger rivers.  The female digs a nest, or redd, in the large gravel of fast-moving deep water.


Chinook salmon depend on healthy estuaries that provide habitat for invertebrates and smaller fish, which become food for the older Chinook salmon smolts.

Facts About Chinook Salmon

Spawns in large rivers

Young stay in natal stream for a year or more

Largest of all the salmon, the record weight is 126 pounds