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Oregon Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon, Onchorhynchus tshawytscha, more commonly known as King Salmon, Tyee Salmon, Springer and Blackmouth. These fish are the most well known Salmon in Oregon. With healthy runs in most Oregon rivers they are sought after because of their large size and tremendous fight.

What is little known are the three different varieties of Oregon Chinook Salmon;

Spring Chinook Salmon: The Spring Chinook Salmon begins its migration in April-May, remaining throughout summer and will spawn in the fall. The traditional spawning grounds for these Spring Chinook Salmon are the headwaters of the Rogue River, the Umpqua River and the Columbia River, including the Willamette River. What makes these Salmon unique is the fact that the spawning grounds are located further upstream than any other salmon. Willamette Spring Chinook will travel over 200 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Early Native Americans harvested 'Springers' as far inland as Idaho's Salmon River, 900 miles from the Pacific. The 'Springer' is far and away the most palatable of the three varieties. Spring Chinook Fishing techniques include Back-Trolling, Back-Bouncing and Bobber fishing.

Fall Chinook Salmon: Oregon Fall King Salmon begins to enter its home streams in August-September and will spawn as early as October. These King Salmon are common in most Oregon coastal rivers and are fished most heavily in the Tidal estuaries along the coast. Soon after entering fresh water the Fall King salmon begins to change colors, from silver to brown and the fish itself begins to deteriorate. Common King Salmon fishing techniques are trolling Herring and casting spinners and spoons. Bobber fishing for salmon can be very productive at certain times.


Winter Kings: The Winter King Salmon is the most little known of the three varieties of Chinook Salmon. These Oregon King Salmon enter small rivers on the South Coast of Oregon after the rains of November have cleared the sandbars from the mouths of these rivers. The run peaks in Mid-Late December. Fishing Oregon Rivers such as The Sixes River, The Elk River, The Chetco River and The Smith River is a very unique Chinook Salmon experience. These rivers are less than forty miles long and the King Salmon entering them remain bright due to the small distance they travel to spawning grounds. These Oregon King Salmon can reach up to 60 lbs, though, 25-35 lbs are more common. Oregon King Salmon Fishing techniques vary for this Salmon. Due to severe winter rains, these rivers change conditions quickly and dramatically. Back-Bouncing, Herring wrapped Kwikfish and the use of a Bait-Diver are the most common techniques.

Be sure to check out article by Mike Stalberg of the Register Guard
Gold Coast Salmon

McKenzie River Spring Chinook, nice weather and BIG FISH!
A Fine Spring Day !

Siusalw River Chinook salmon,  Bobber-Fishing can be very effective
Siuslaw River Fall King


Elk River  Salmon Fishing, Mid-December is Prime Fishing
Winter King

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Eugene, Oregon