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Chinook, king or spring salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Chinook, king or spring salmon
Chinook, king or spring salmon

Scientific name for Chinook, king or spring salmon

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Common name(s) for Chinook, king or spring salmon

Chinook, tyee, blackmouth

Market name

Chinook, king or spring salmon

Other language names for Chinook, king or spring salmon

  • French: Saumon royal
  • German: Königslachs
  • Italian: Salmone reale
  • Japanese: Masunosuke
  • Spanish: Salmón Chinook

Introduction to Chinook, king or spring salmon

Chinook salmon are the biggest and most prestigious Pacific salmon species. Unlike other Pacific salmon species, which spend between one and three years at sea, kings may spend up to five years away from their birthplace streams. They are collected mainly by trollers but also by seiners and gillnetters from central California to the Yukon River in Alaska and Canada. Although some chinooks exceed 50 pounds, the majority of the commercial catch is between 11 and 18 pounds. Chinook salmon are often referred to and sold by the river system from where they originate. Copper River kings are exceptional. The Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers are also found in Alaska. Copper River salmon return in late May or early June marks the start of Alaska’s wild salmon season. In addition to British Columbia, Washington, New Zealand, and Chile, Chinook salmon are farmed in British Columbia, Washington, New Zealand, and Chile.

Product Profile for Chinook, king or spring salmon

For their long-distance migration, Chinooks require a big fat store. This results in a flavor that is buttery and creamy. The oily meat of chinook salmon is softer than that of other species of wild salmon. The flesh of chinook salmon is almost always red, never pink, with the exception of rare white-meat strains. White king is a pale-meat strain that should not be confused with “pale kings,” which are sexually mature fish. The white king’s flavor is as rich as the more strongly colored chinook’s, despite its pale hue.

Nutrition for Chinook, king or spring salmon


Calories: 179
Fat Calories: 94
Total Fat: 10.4 g
Saturated Fat: 3.1 g
Cholesterol: 50 mg
Sodium: 47 mg
Protein: 19.9 g
Omega 3: 2.3 g

Cooking tips for Chinook, king or spring salmon

The rich and delicious king salmon responds well to simple treatments, but it may also stand up to more robust flavors. Broiling or grilling a piece of king salmon with pesto sauce is a simple recipe that packs a taste punch. Begin by leaving the top side of the pan uncooked. Apply a large amount of basil pesto to the cooked top surface after flipping.

Cooking methods for Chinook, king or spring salmon

Bake, Broil , Grill , Poach , Smoke

Primary Product Forms for Chinook, king or spring salmon

Fresh: Whole, Dressed (head on), H&G, Steaks, Fillets (bone-in/boneless)

Frozen: Whole, Dressed (head on), H&G, Steaks, Fillets (bone-in/boneless)

Value-added: Smoked, Canned

Global Supply for Chinook, king or spring salmon

Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Russia, United States, Iran