Chinook (King) Salmon Distribution
The Chinook Salmon is native to the Pacific Ocean, from northern California all the way up the west coast through Canada and up to Alaska. They are also found in the Bearing Sea, the Okhotsk Sea, the Sea of Japan and most of the rivers that flow into these waters.
This magnificent fish is abundant along the British Columbia coast and Alaska and within the rivers that serve the coast. The King Salmon is also the state fish of Alaska.
Fishing King Salmon in Alaska
If you’re planning a trip you can’t go wrong by choosing any one of these rivers. Major rivers in their distribution include the Yukon River, the Kuskokwim, the Nushagak, the Susitna, the Kenai, the Copper, the Alsek, the Taku and the Stikine Rivers.
We recommend choosing a guide familiar with the river you’re going to fish if you’re new to this part of the world. The guide can be responsible for safety equipment, communications and picking the right river locations.
New Salmon Waters
Due to their size and the great fight they put up, the Chinook has been introduced all around the world.
First discovered in the late 19th century by Europeans the Chinook or King Salmon can now be fished in the Great Lakes, the Atlantic and Gulf states in the United States, parts of South America including Chile, Argentina, Iran, Europe and the South Pacific including New Zealand and Australia.
Fish farms have been set up like this one below in the south island of New Zealand. It you find yourself traveling through this beautiful country, it’s interesting to see the farming process they’ve set up, the different stages and how it works. While you’re there you can catch yourself some nice fresh salmon for dinner and have it prepared on the spot. filleted, smoked or however you like, ready to cook. Perfect if you’re camping or traveling around in a motorhome.
Endangered Species True or False?
The Chinook Salmon is not an endangered species despite some clever arguments by the Endangered Species Act. The act claims that populations of chinook salmon are considered separate species if they’re reproductively isolated from other populations.
This doesn’t align with the way species are classified. In many parts of their distribution their numbers are strong and far from being endangered. However we understand the purpose of the act and it is to protect those rivers that have come under significant strain due to various water management, construction or mining actives.