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(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), also king salmon or black salmon, a fish of the genus Oncorhynchus, comprising the Pacific salmon. The Chinook salmon differs from other salmon in the large number of gill rays, which number 15 to 19. The back is covered by tiny, roundish black spots, as are the dorsal and caudal fins. The Chinook salmon is the largest of all the Pacific salmon. The body length of the representatives caught off Kamchatka averages 90 cm, and the weight 8–10 kg; some have been known to weigh more than 50 kg. The Chinook salmon is distributed in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, inhabiting areas along the coast of North America, from Alaska to California, and areas along the coast of Asia, from the Anadyr’ River to Amur Bay.
The Chinook salmon attains sexual maturity at three to seven years of age. It spawns in July and August on the Kamchatka Peninsula; in the rivers of North America it also spawns in the autumn and winter. The fish enter the rivers in the spring, swimming far upstream. Fecundity is 4,200 to 20,000 eggs, which are large, nearly the size of the eggs of the chum salmon (O. keta). The fry live in rivers from the age of three or four months to one to two years of age.
A very valuable commercial fish, the Chinook salmon is bred and acclimatized.
REFERENCESNikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 1. Moscow, 1971.
Smirnov, A. I. Biologiia, razmnozhenie i razvitie tikhookeanskikh lososei. Moscow, 1975.
A. I. SMIRNOV