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The Chinook salmon, also called the King salmon in Alaska, is the largest of six North Pacific salmon species. The Chinook ranges from California to Alaska, and Siberia to Japan.
The average adult fish is 24 to 36 inches (61 to 91 cm) in length, and 10 to 50 pounds (4.5 to 22.7 kg) in weight. The Chinook may spend one to eight years in the ocean before returning to their home rivers to spawn. The longest freshwater migration is over 1,900 miles (3,000 km) up the Yukon River in Alaska. The run with the greatest elevation gain is on the Salmon River in Idaho, these fish gain over 7,000 feet (2,100 m) in about 900 miles (1,400 km) through eight dams and reservoirs. In many places the populations are declining or have disappeared due to overfishing, loss of freshwater and estuarine habitat, hydropower development, poor ocean conditions, and hatchery practices.
The five rivers in Southeast Alaska with the largest King salmon runs are the Stikine, Taku, Unuk, Chilkat and Alsek that in 2017 all fell far short of their management goals. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of the Stikine River.