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King Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Also called the chinook salmon, this popular sport fish can weigh more than 100 pounds. More commonly, its weight ranges from 16 to 40 pounds. The blue-gray coloration on its back fades to a silvery color on its sides. Identifying characteristics include a black gum line and black spots on both upper and lower tail lobes. A male is distinguished by its deeper color and hooked nose. Spawning kings take on a maroon to olive brown color. Heading upstream to spawn from May through July, kings can travel more than 2000 river miles during a sixty-day period. Females deposit 3000 to 14,000 eggs. Hatching usually occurs in late winter or early spring. An important commercial fish, the king was adopted by Alaska in 1962.