Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon
Common Name Chinook Salmon
Market Name king salmon, spring salmon
Scientific name Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Sourcing Summary

Size

11-18+ lbs.

Due to natural variability, there will be major quality differences in wild salmon, no matter how well the fish is handled. Learning about specific runs of salmon, more so than specific species, is often the best way to find consistency in wild salmon that fits specific needs. White Chinook salmon get their lighter flesh color because its food source consists of sardines or anchovies compared to pinkier flesh from salmon that consume mostly krill. There can be considerable price variation with higher oil content fish getting a higher price in the market. Because Chinook have such a high oil content, they are often smoked. Chinook is graded under 7, 7-11, 11-18, and 18 up. Fresh and frozen is mostly available headed and gutted.

Estimated sustainability of North American Chinook salmon based on a combination of 2004-2014 landings using 2016 Seafood Watch ratings is broken down accordingly:

  • ~30% "Best Choice (green)" from Alaska
  • ~60% "Good Alternative (yellow)" from California, Oregon, Washington (outside Puget Sound), and British Columbia (outside South Coast)
  • ~10% "Avoid (red)" from Puget Sound, Washington and British Columbia - South Coast

Product Forms

Fresh/Frozen
Fresh
Product Forms
Fillet
H&G
Portions
Fresh/Frozen
Frozen
Product Forms
Fillet
H&G
Portions

Fresh Seasonal Availability

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
nononoyesyesyesyesyesyesnonono

Culinary Composition

Mild

Flavor

Medium

Texture

Cooking Methods

Health/Nutrition

Nutrition facts

Serving Size: 100g
Amount per serving
Calories 179
Total Fat 10g
Cholesterol 50mg
Sodium 47mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 20g
Omega-3 2.3g

Science & Management

Wild
Harvest Methods

Conservation Criteria - Wild

Impact on Stock

Chinook salmon have low fecundity, compensated in part by a large number of eggs. Chinook salmon in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon have been particularly susceptible to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, introduced species, overfishing, and dam construction.

Chinook salmon stocks in Alaska are considered healthy, but Chinook salmon populations in California and Oregon south of Cape Falcon are declining. Of the Chinook salmon populations in the Pacific, two are “endangered,” seven are “threatened,” and one is a “species of concern.” According to scientists, the Sacramento River winter-run Chinook population could go extinct within 50 years. In 2016, Seafood Watch listed wild Chinook salmon in Puget Sound as 'avoid' because the stock is currently listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Habitat impacts ( Wild)

Chinook salmon are caught using gillnets, purse seines, and trolling gear, all of which rarely touches the seafloor so there is little lasting physical impact on these habitats.

Bycatch

Endangered winter-run Chinook is often caught unintentionally by fishermen targeting other salmon since it’s difficult to differentiate among the stocks. In the Chinook fishery, gillnets can ensnare seabirds although a 2016 Seafood Watch report noted that, anecdotally, bird bycatch rates are low.

Management effectiveness

Management measures in Alaska, which include limits on gear sizes such as boat length and mesh size, are considered highly effective. A Seafood Watch report from 2016 noted that significant progress had been made in managing salmon along the U.S. West Coast. Despite the complicated presence of endangered species, Seafood Watch considered management of most of these salmon fisheries to be careful and highly effective.

Conservation Criteria - Farmed

Origin Method Ratings
All Other Origins All Other Fishing Methods  
All Other Origins All Other Farming Methods  
Canada - British Columbia (Central Coast) Drift Gillnet  
Canada - British Columbia (North Coast) Drift Gillnet  
Canada - British Columbia (North Coast) Troll  
Canada - British Columbia (North Coast) Pole  
Canada - British Columbia (South Coast) Drift Gillnet  
Canada - British Columbia (South Coast) Purse Seine - Unassociated  
Canada - British Columbia (Transboundary RIvers) Drift Gillnet  
Canada - British Columbia (West Coast of Vancouver Island) Troll  
Canada - British Columbia (West Coast of Vancouver Island) Pole  
New Zealand Net Pen  
USA - Alaska Gillnet  
USA - Alaska Purse Seine  
USA - Alaska Troll  
USA - California Purse Seine  
USA - California (Horse Mt. to US/Mexico border) Troll  
USA - California (Humbug Mt. to Horse Mt.) Troll  
USA - California (Klamath River) Drift Gillnet  
USA - Oregon Purse Seine  
USA - Oregon (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.) Troll  
USA - Oregon (Columbia River) Drift Gillnet  
USA - Oregon (Humbug Mt. to Horse Mt.) Troll  
USA - Oregon (Klamath River) Drift Gillnet  
USA - Oregon (North of Cape Falcon) Troll  
USA - Washington (Coastal Rivers) Drift Gillnet  
USA - Washington (Columbia River) Drift Gillnet  
USA - Washington (North of Cape Falcon) Troll  
USA - Washington (Puget Sound) Drift Gillnet  
USA - Washington (Puget Sound) Troll  
USA - Washington (Puget Sound) Purse Seine  
Worldwide RAS - recirculating aquaculture systems  
Name Country State / Province
A-1 Alaska Halibut / Kachemak Bay Seafoods United States Alaska
Alaska Glacier Seafoods, Inc. United States Alaska
Alaska Peninsula Fisherman's Co-op United States Washington
Alaska Troll Caught LLC United States Alaska
Alaskan Salmon Company United States Alaska
Alaskans Own Seafood United States Alaska
Albion Farms & Fisheries Canada British Columbia
Alcatraz Bay Seafoods United States California
Allseas Fisheries Corp. Canada Ontario
American Fish & Seafood Company United States California
Anderson Seafoods Inc. United States California
Annette Island Packing Company United States Alaska
Aoraki Salmon New Zealand
Aqua Star United States Washington
Aqualine Seafoods Ltd. Canada British Columbia
B&C Food Distributors Canada British Columbia
Barlean's Fishery, Inc. United States Washington
Blue North Inc. United States Washington
Blue North Trading Company, LLC. United States Washington
Blundell Seafoods Canada British Columbia
Brady's Oysters United States Washington
Bristol Bay Salmon Company United States California
C2C Premium Seafood Canada British Columbia
Calkins & Burke Canada British Columbia
Canadian Fishing Company Canada British Columbia
Cape Greig, LLC. United States Washington
Catalina Offshore Products United States California
Catanese Classic Seafood United States Ohio
Centennial Foodservice Canada Alberta
Central Coast Seafood United States California
Channel Fish Processing Company, Inc. United States Massachusetts
CleanFish United States California
Clipper Ship, Inc. United States Washington
Coal Point Seafood Company United States Alaska
Coastal Villages Seafoods, LLC United States Alaska
Codfathers Seafood Market Canada British Columbia
Coffee Point Seafoods of Washington, LLC United States Washington
Cold Country Salmon United States Virginia
Community Seafood LLC United States California
Community Supported Fishery United States Oregon
Dole & Bailey Inc. United States Massachusetts
E&E Foods, LLC. United States Washington
E.C. Phillips & Son, Inc. United States Alaska
Ed's Kasilof Seafoods United States Alaska
Euclid Fish Company United States Ohio
F/V Miss Mary Inc United States Washington
F/V Princess United States California
Flurer Smokery Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Fortune Fish & Gourmet United States Illinois
Gulkana Seafoods-Direct United States Alaska
Halperns' Purveyors of Steak and Seafood United States Georgia
Harbor Pride Seafood United States California
Icicle Seafoods, Inc. United States Washington
Icy Strait Seafoods, Inc United States Washington
IFC Seafood Inc. United States Maine
Ilwaco Landing LLC United States Washington
Imperial Seafood and Shellfish Inc. United States Ohio
Independence Fish Company United States Pennsylvania
J&B Sales Co, LLC United States Washington
J.J. McDonnell United States Maryland
John Nagle Co. United States Massachusetts
Kelly's Fresh Fish United States Washington
Kenai Red Fish Company United States Oregon
Kodiak Island WildSource United States Alaska
L&L International Inc. United States California
Lee Fish USA United States California
Lions Gate Fisheries, Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Lusamerica Foods, Inc. United States California
Lytle Seafoods United States Washington
Marinelli Shellfish Co. United States Washington
Maximum Seafood Canada Ontario
Mikuni Wild Harvest United States Washington
Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon New Zealand
Nakeen Homepack, LLC. United States Alaska
Naknek Family Fisheries United States Alaska
Natural Gift Seafoods Canada British Columbia
Northern Lakes Seafood & Meats United States Michigan
Northern Products Corporation United States Washington
Northport Fisheries Inc. United States Washington
Northwest Fresh Seafood Company United States Oregon
Norton Sound Enterprises United States Washington
Nova Fisheries/SunWave Processors United States Washington
Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC United States Washington
Ora King Salmon New Zealand NSN
Orca Bay Seafoods, Inc. United States Washington
Organic Ocean Seafood Inc. Canada British Columbia
Pacific Harvest Seafood, Inc. United States Washington
Pacific Harvest Seafoods United States California
Pacific Seafood Group, Inc. United States Oregon
Pacific Star Seafoods, Inc. United States Alaska
Palomino Foods, Inc. United States Washington
Pickled Willy's United States Alaska
Pike Place Fish Market United States Washington
Port Orford Sustainable Seafood United States Oregon
Premier Harvest United States Washington
Profish Ltd. United States District of Columbia
Queen Charlotte Seafoods Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Raw Seafoods United States Massachusetts
Real Good Fish United States California
Red River Seafood Company LLC United States Florida
Royal Hawaiian Seafood United States California
Samuels & Son Seafood Company, Inc. United States Pennsylvania
Santa Monica Seafood, Inc. United States California
Sea Agra Seafood Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Sea Forager, Inc. United States California
Sea to Table, USA United States New York
Seabright Seafood, LLC. United States Alaska
Seacore Seafood Inc. Canada Ontario
Seafood Merchants Ltd. United States Illinois
Seafood Producers Cooperative United States Washington
Seaforth Fish Company United States California
Seattle Fish Company United States Colorado
Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico United States New Mexico
Select Gourmet Foods Inc. United States Washington
Siren Fish Co. United States California
Sitka Salmon Shares United States Illinois
Slade Gorton & Co Inc. United States Massachusetts
Sleeping Giant Inc. United States Washington
SOGDA Limited, Inc. United States Washington
Stavis Seafoods United States Massachusetts
Stikine Seafoods United States Alaska
Tai Foong USA United States Washington
Taku Fisheries / Smokeries United States Alaska
Taku River Reds United States Alaska
The Fish Guys Inc. United States Minnesota
The Fishin' Company United States Pennsylvania
The Salmon Hookup United States Alaska
Thunder's Catch United States Idaho
Tonka Seafoods, Inc. United States Alaska
Tradex Foods Inc. Canada British Columbia
Triad Fisheries Ltd United States Washington
Vita Food Products United States Illinois
Wild Fish Direct LLC United States Florida
Wild Local Seafood Co. United States California
Wild Woman Fish Co. United States Colorado
Willowfield Enterprises Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Worldwide Seafoods (1997) Ltd. Canada British Columbia
ZF America United States Washington