The Chinook Salmon is the largest of all Pacific salmon species, often larger than 100 lbs and longer than 5 ft. It is characterized by a deep blue-green back, silvery sides and a white belly with black irregular spots on the back, dorsal fin and both lobes of the tail. It also has a small eye, black gum coloration, a thick caudal peduncle and 13-19 anal rays. For spawning, both males and females develop a reddish hue on the sides, although males may be deeper in color. Males can also be distinguished by a hooked nose and a ridged back. The Chinook fry look very different, with well developed parr marks (vertical bars) on their sides.
Range mass: 61.4 (high) kg.
Average mass: 13.6 kg.
Range length: 147.32 (high) cm.
Average length: 91.44 cm.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: male more colorful; sexes shaped differently
- Government of Canada, 2002. "Salmon Biology--Pacific Region" (On-line). Accessed October 23, 2002 at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ops/fm/Salmon/chinook.htm.
- NOAA, 2001. "Chinook Salmon (Oncorhyncus tshawytscha)" (On-line). Accessed October 21, 2002 at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/prot_res/species/fish/Chinook_salmon.html.