• Fish I.D. Chinook Salmon - Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

    Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

    A.k.A. Names: King salmon, Tyee, blackmouth, tule
    Family: Salmonidae
    Range: Monterey California, North to Bering Strait Alaska, Great Lakes Region, Bering Sea Regions
    I.D. Tips: Black gum line, larger size, appears over 30 inches in length
    Run Timing: Spring & Fall runs occure in Northwest U.S. and South Western Canada. Northern ranges of Canada & Alaska, Summer & early Fall months. Winter Chinook are know to exist in both Oregon & Washington rivers.
    Travel: Travels in groups, movement Often tidal related, travels center of river 10 to 20 foot deep range in larger rivers.
    Holding: Boils, slow & fast moving deep pools, some drifts when moving
    Spawning Preference: Gravel side channels and shallow riffs
    Spawning Color: bronze to redish hues with possible black patches
    Average Adult Size: 12 to 30 Lbs - Larger in some areas, to 98 lbs in Alaska

    Please Keep Native Salmon & Steelhead in Water While Releasing Them!

    Bright Female Spring Chinook Salmon


    Male Fall Chinook Salmon


    Female Fall Chinook Salmon


    Male Fall Chinook Salmon in Spawing Colors


    Male Tule Chinook Salmon in Spawing Colors


    Chinook Salmon in Alaska Often Show A Bright Red Color


    Chinook Salmon
    [Oncorhynchus tshawytscha] are the largest of the 5 species of Pacific salmon. Not hard to identify due to their larger size however they do share some of the same characteristics as the Coho salmon. Chinook salmon enter the rivers fresh and bright and can hold their silver color for up to several weeks. Fall chinook salmon turn to spawning colors much faster than the Spring returning chinook salmon. Females in spawning color will appear bronze to black depending on location and sub species. Male chinook will appear bronze to bright red and often showing large teeth near the tip of top and bottom jaw. In the lower Columbia basin rivers [below Dalles Dam] a sub varitey called the 'Tule' chinook salmon is known to darken as soon as entering tidewater. Tule chinook salmon also have white meat and are considered unfavorable table fair by many. Distinguishing between the tule and other varieties of chinook is easy since the tule will likely appear dark when caught in freshwater. Anglers trolling near Astoria Oregon report catching bright tules in their Fall mixed bags. Many lower Columbia rivers contain both tule chinook salmon and other more favorable varieties. Chinook are listed as critical or endangered condition in the lower part of their native range in California while they are thriving as an invasive species in parts of South America.

    School of Chinook Salmon Traveling




    Chinook Salmon Links & Resources


    Fish I.D. Pages SSSF


    Angler Fights Chinook Salmon



    This article was originally published in forum thread: Fish I.D. Chinook Salmon - Oncorhynchus tshawytscha started by KingSalmon Admin View original post