DID YOU KNOW: Chinook Salmon spend 4 years in the ocean before returning to their natal streams to spawn where they will eventually die.
DESCRIPTION: The chinook salmon also known as the King Salmon is blue-green on the back and top of the head with silvery sides and white bellies; black spots on the upper half of its body with gray/black mouth coloration. Up to 58 inches in length and weigh up to 129 pounds; although chinook salmon is generally up to 36 inches in length and weigh up to 30 pounds.
LIFE CYCLE: Spawning in streams that are larger and deeper than other salmon utilize, chinook salmon spawn from late summer to late fall, depending on the run. Fry and smolts usually stay in freshwater from 1 to 18 months before travelling downstream to estuaries. Chinook salmon spend 1 to 6 years on the lake before returning to natal streams to spawn.
HABITAT AND ECOLOGY: Most Salmon on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan are planted by the Department of Natural Resources. Millions of salmon are planted every year up and down the Wisconsin coast. Rivers that Salmon travel up and spawn in have too dirty of water for the fresh hatches to survive. They are found reproducing on the Michigan coast where clear rocky bottom rivers are found, creating excellent conditions for salmon spawning habitat.
State Record: 44 lbs 15oz
World Record: 126 lbs 4oz