Alaska State Fish
King Salmon (common name)
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (scientific name)
Alaska’s state fish, the chinook salmon, is called the king salmon because it is the largest species of salmon. Individuals reach over 100 pounds. The king is native to the Pacific Coast of North America. Its coloration is a variable pattern of mottled blue-green, with silver flanks, black spots on the tail, and black around the mouth. When it spawns, reddish patches develop on its flanks and its nose becomes hooked. The chinook is migratory. At one to six years of age, adult chinook travel from the ocean back to the streams in which they were born in order to lay eggs. Once hatched, the salmon typically migrate to estuaries and then go out to sea after three months. A small number of male chinook, called "jack salmon," spend two years in freshwater before migrating to the ocean or just turn around after a few months at sea and return to freshwater. The salmon is one of the most popular edible fish in the world, eaten raw, smoked, marinated, or cooked. The king salmon was adopted as the official state fish of Alaska in 1962.
Length: Average of 46 inches (up to 58 inches)
Weight: Average of 40 pounds (up to 125 pounds)
Up to 9 years
Range: Throughout the North Pacific from the San Francisco Bay to Japan and north to the Chukchi Sea.
Water type: Saltwater and freshwater
Water temp: 53–57°F
Conservation Status: Secure
Young chinook in streams feed on insects, tadpoles, and crustaceans. Mature chinook at sea feed on fish.
Spawning frequency: Three to four years on average
Mating behavior: Intersexual communication
Egg laying: The female creates a nest called a redd in the gravel of a streambed where she deposits her eggs. The male then deposits sperm on the roe to inseminate the eggs.
A highly commercial fish caught in the wild or farmed. Also a popular game fish.
Chinook salmon, tyee salmon, Columbia River salmon, black salmon, chub salmon, hook bill salmon, winter salmon, spring salmon, Quinnat salmon, spring salmon, quinnat, blackmouth salmon.
Click to enlarge an image
Raw Data Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Author: World Trade Press