AKA Chinook Salmon, Blackmouth

All hail! King Salmon were, and remain the Santa Cruz fishing fleet’s most economically significant catch. They reigned to such a degree that the harbor was once nicknamed ‘The Pink Harbor.’

Some of the fishermen who catch it:

Kevin Butler, Calder Deyerle, Ty Nguyen, Terry Baeck, Skylar Campbell, Scott Rouhier, Normal Reynolds, Kurtis Williams, John Amaral, Frankie Cunningham, Dave Toriumi, Chris Seeno, Andrew Heppart, Andrew Corr

Flavor profile:

Higher fat content contributes to a velvet like texture. While flesh can range from a white-pink to a deep red, the flavor is smooth like butter and less robust then other species of salmon like a Coho.


Chinook have multiple populations throughout California all of which are rated Good Alternative by Seafood Watch.


Factors contributing to sustainability:

Gear type (Trolling), strict seasons and firm regulations size restrictions.

Catch methods:

Hook and line (Trolling)

Range: California to Alaska

Seasonality: Late spring - early fall

Preferred habitat:

Migratory species that prefer cold ocean conditions, often as a result of strong upwelling where there is high nutrients, plankton and forage fish.

Interesting life history facts:

Many different populations of this species of salmon. These are anadromous - hatch in freshwater, migrate to feed and grow in the ocean before returning to spawn in the rivers.. In the ocean the fish have a blue-green back with silvery sides and white bellies, when they return to the rivers their color transitions into an olive brown, and males develop a hooked upper jaw.