Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon

 Quick Facts

Latin Name: Oncorhynchus kisutch

Status: Endangered and threatened

Population: Both the Asian and North American sides of the North Pacific Ocean

Diet: Plankton and insects in freshwater and small fish in the ocean

Weight: Average weight is 40 pounds (can grow up to 120 pounds)

Length: 3 feet

About the Chinook Salmon

Like other salmon species, Chinook salmon return to the rivers and streams of their birth to mate but spend most of their adult life in ocean habitats. They spend between 3 months and two years in freshwater habitats and 2-4 years in marine environments.

After hatching from their eggs, juvenile Chinook salmon have dark bands on their sides, also known as parr marks, that help camouflage them in stream environments. As the salmon mature and prepare to migrate downstream, their skin becomes dark on their backs and light on their underbellies to help them confuse ocean predators.

Chinook salmon are often called “king salmon” because they are the largest species of salmon.

For more information: NOAA Fisheries and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Photography: Image #1 and #2 by Dan Cox, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

How you can help this species

The Chinook salmon needs your help to preserve its natural habitat. Together, with Pacific Forest Trust and our network of partners, we can all protect the spaces this species needs to survive.

Help conserve America's forests.

Donate Today

Be in the know. Get the latest news.

Subscribe

Conservation PROJECTS WITH
Chinook Salmon HABITATS

The Pacific Forest Trust is dedicated to preserving natural habitats and forest systems where animals can thrive. Explore some of our conservation projects and easements in and around the Chinook salmon habitat.