The Chinook Salmon is also known as the King Salmon. The Chinook Salmon are the largest Salmon found in the Columbia River. The average adult is 22 pounds but at the Bonneville Dam these fish weighing 40-50 pounds can be viewed in the fish ladders. Chinook Salmon are passing the lower Columbia River through the dams from August to November, if you hurry to the Bonneville Dam you can catch a glimpse of the last Salmon travelers of the season heading home. Read some distinguishing characteristics of the Chinook Salmon below.

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Large Size
  • Oval Body
  • Silver in color until close to spawning when the males turn a dark “dirty” maroon hue or red color.  The females become darker silver to almost black
  • Spots on the upper portion of body and on the tail or ‘caudal fin’
  • Crescent shape end tail
  • Black gum line

SRC: Learn more about the Chinook Salmon at:

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