River Salmon Information
River Salmon General Information
The king salmon, or chinook, is the largest of the pacific salmon. Their range is from Monterey California to Point Hope Alaska. They are an anadromous species and most pacific coast rivers that provide adequate flows, temperatures and habitat suitable for ascending, spawning, and rearing young sustain king salmon runs. There may be up to three runs per year; spring, summer, and fall.
The average weight for California strains on chinook is around 18-22 pounds with the record fish weighing in at just over 50 pounds. The largest kings come from Alaska where 50 to 60 pound fish are common.
King salmon return to the river of their birth at ages from 2 to 7 years. While out to sea they have been known to migrate across the north Pacific and trips of over 7,000 miles have been recorded. The longest spawning run is the Yukon River, Alaska in which the fish must swim close to 2,000 miles up river. Salmon use a combination of smell, solar navigation, visual clues, and an awareness of length of days, light intensities, and other factors to navigate.
King salmon spawn I beds of course gravel, 1 to 3 inches in diameter. The female digs out a nest, called a redd, with her tail and body. The female then deposits her eggs while the male simultaneously fertilizes them with jets of milt. The eggs then adhere to the bottom of the nest. The eggs are covered with gravel. The female may build more than one redd over several days. Both male and females die within a few days after spawning. The decaying flesh of the dead parents provide food for organism which the fry feed upon after leaving the nest. The fry stay in the nest for 2 to 3 weeks after hatching and may remain in the river system for up to 18 months before heading out to sea.
The esophagus of the chinook soon closes upon their entry into fresh water. King salmon will not feed during their spawning runs. The only way to hook one is by eliciting an aggressive response. There are a number of lures and methods for accomplishing this. The king salmon like deep holes and channels which are the most likely places to find them. One of the most common methods is to tie anchovy or sardine filets to a large flatfish or kwickfish and drift downstream over deep holes.
River Salmon Articles & Reports
Written By: Dan Bacher,
Late fall Chinook fishing is surprisingly good in the Sacramento River in the metropolitan area – and relatively few anglers are going out fishing.
“The three anglers fishing with me yesterday landed five salmon, all bright ones,” said...read more ››
Written By: Dan Bacher,
After a long period of low water conditions, the rain arrived and anglers were able to hook the big, beautiful king salmon that the Smith River is famous for once the leaves and other debris washed down river.
“The fishing isn’t red hot,...read more ››
Written By: Cal Kellogg,
The ODFW reminds anglers that the mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead.
Wild coho can still be harvested from the mouth to the Scottsburg Bridge. The limit is 1...read more ››
Tips & Tactics for River Salmon
Written By: Cal Kellogg
Just the other day I found myself setting on a deer stand on a ridge high in the Tahoe National Forest. The hunting was great except for...read more ››
Written By: Headwaters Fishing Team
What I experienced today was akin to courting a girl for months and upon meeting her family - oh my goodness; hot for sister! Big sister...read more ››
Written By: FishSniffer Staff
Once again, the Fish Sniffer is prowling the waters of Northern California in a beautiful 21’ Willie Raptor. The Raptor is an...read more ››
River Salmon Locations
- Good read from Peter Moyle at UC Davis' Watershed Science:
Are Central Valley Steelhead Really Threatened?...
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 19:48:57 GMT
- so with the Holidays comes a chance for us Fisherman and ladies to get great deals in fishing gear . . Like free shipping and No taxes . I like to...
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 08:36:48 GMT
- So this means by Thursday there will be a slew of fish up top? Am I right?
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 07:02:43 GMT
- has anyone heard of this project? sounds like an attempt to funnel more water to southern cal.
seems real supsicious....i wonder how this will...
Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:58:40 GMT
- I've heard there's a pretty good bite going on right now. Does anyone have experience or ideas on techniques and what to look for at this unorthodox...
Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:11:02 GMT
Recent Reader's Photo
Species: River Salmon
My first salmon was a good one. We had a mini derby among friends with a winner takes all pot. Got our boat the prize of $170! Caught on Silvertron trolling downstream near Steamboat Slough.