Salmon – Wild King

Oncorhynchus Tshawytscha

Market Name(s): King & Chinook

Primary Source(s): British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California

Season: Year Round (very limited in winter months)

Size Range:  4-40 lbs. Whole fish average 20 lbs. Typical grades for dressed or H&G fish: 4/7, 7/11, 11/18, 18+

This largest of the salmon species boasts firm red flesh, high oil reserves and exquisite flavor making this the King of wild salmon!

Troll, Gillnet, Purse Seine

Chinook salmon farmed worldwide in indoor recirculating tanks and in New Zealand in marine and freshwater net pens is a "Best Choice." Indoor recirculating tanks often have less effluent, disease, escapes and habitat impacts than other aquaculture systems. In New Zealand, the industry operates on a small scale and has minimal environmental impacts. About 60% of Chinook salmon is farmed.

Chinook salmon caught in Washington's Puget Sound by any method and on British Columbia’s South Coast with drift gillnets or unassociated purse seines is on the "Avoid" list. In the Puget Sound, Chinook salmon populations are threatened, and overfishing may still be occurring on some populations. British Columbia’s South Coast fisheries catch Chinook and coho salmon from overfished populations.

All other Seafood Watch-assessed sources of Chinook salmon from California, Oregon, Washington (except the Puget Sound) and British Columbia (except the South Coast) are "Good Alternatives." Overfishing of the main Chinook salmon populations is not likely occurring, but salmon from endangered, threatened or depleted populations are also caught. Moderately effective management is challenged by the presence of depleted populations and other complex factors. Many salmon runs in Alaska, on the U.S. West Coast and in British Columbia are augmented by large numbers of hatchery salmon, which could reduce the ability of wild populations to survive. Some sources of Chinook salmon are certified sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council.