Wildlife officials in northern California last week came across one of the biggest Chinook salmon ever found in the state — a monster more than 4 feet long and weighing 85 pounds.
“We see lots of big ones,” Doug Killam, a biologist in the California Department of Fish and Game’s Red Bluff office, told the Redding Record Searchlight, “but this one was just bigger than most big ones — it was just spectacular.”
The big fish had recently spawned and died, Killam said, and probably weighed about 90 pounds when it began its 100-mile swim upstream from the Pacific to the spot where it died on Battle Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River near the town of Anderson.
The California sport-fishing record for a Chinook salmon is 88 pounds. In Alaska, where they’re called king salmon, they get even bigger — the record sport catch is 97 pounds, while the largest commercial catch was a truly phenomenal 126 pounds.
California Department of Fish and Game
“If someone would have caught this one, it probably would have been a state record,” Killam told the Record Searchlight.
A black bear comes up with a Kokanee salmon while hunting for fish along Taylor Creek near South Lake Tahoe, Calif, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. The bear and two cubs wandered the creek in search of Kokanee salmon. The salmon swim upstream every October by the thousands to spawn in the creek. The big one was nailed by the California Department of Fish and Game.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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