Salmon Size Secrets Thinking All Salmon Are Similar Think Again!

Salmon Size Secrets: Discover the Surprising Variations! 2024

Last Updated on March 14, 2024 by themubbi63

Salmon Size

Salmon may be one of the most popular kinds of fish that we eat but how much do we know about it? For example, did you know that there are only eight kinds of salmon in the world, of which seven are found in the Pacific Ocean? In contrast to this, only one kind of salmon is found in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Other fish like trout and whitefish are also quite closely related to salmon. We may be used to thinking of salmon as freshwater fish but that’s actually not true. They’re usually anadromous which means they migrate to the ocean to mature. Salmon are born in freshwater and eventually migrate to seas and oceans. But they always return to freshwater to spawn. 

Chinook Salmon Size

salmon size chart

Also called king salmon, this is the largest species of Pacific salmon. It’s also the most valuable. For any fisherman or angler trying to catch a salmon as a sport, the chinook makes for a great catch indeed. An adult salmon size and weight fish can measure up to 58 inches in length and 130 lb in weight. However, the average is in the 24 – 36 inches and 10 – 50 lb range.

This type of salmon has been introduced in other parts of the world like New Zealand and Patagonia rivers, even though they don’t naturally occur there. There’s also Chinook in Lake Michigan and the western rivers of Lake Michigan and they’re doing very well indeed.

Chinook Salmon24 – 58 inches (60 – 150 cm)10 – 130 lb (4.5 – 59 kg)

Related Article: Ocean Sunfish Size Explained & Compared With Others

Pink Salmon Size

Pink salmon, in contrast to chinook salmon, is probably the smallest species of the Pacific salmon. But it’s also the most abundant. It’s sometimes called the humpback salmon or nicknamed the humpie because it often develops a humped back. They prefer cold water and have a strict life cycle of 2 years. They have self-sustaining populations in the Greak Lakes of the United States and Iran.

On average, they’re only 4.8 lb in weight and 14 – 18 inches in length. However, the biggest pink salmon are 15 pounds in weight and 30 inches in length.

Pink Salmon14 – 30 inches (35 – 76 cm)4 – 15 lb (1.8 – 6.8 kg)

Sockeye Salmon Size

Also called the red salmon or blueback salmon, this species is almost completely red in color (as opposed to the silver of most of the other species). They can be found as far south as the Columbia river in the eastern Pacific and can migrate very long distances, upto 1000 miles. 

While not as small as the pink salmon, they’re on the smaller side. An adult sockeye can grow upto about 33 inches and weigh a maximum of 15 lb.

Sockeye Salmon20 – 33 inches (51 – 84 cm)5 – 15 lb (2.3 – 6.8 kg)

Chum Salmon Size

Chum salmon is also known as dog salmon or keta salmon. Dog salmon is the name used in Alaska because Alaskans often feed their dogs this kind of salmon. It’s one of the longer lived salmon and can live upto 5 years.

An adult chum salmon usually measures between 9.7 to 22 lb in weight. The average length happens to be 23.6 inches. However, the record size of the largest chum salmon ever caught was 44.1 inches in length and 35 lb in weight.

Chum Salmon22 – 44.1 inches (56 – 112 cm)8 – 35 lb (3.5 – 15.9 kg)

Related Article: Diverse World of Shrimp Sizes: From Tiny to Jumbo (Facts & Figures) 2024

Coho Salmon Size

Coho salmon are nicknamed silvers because of the pure silver color of their scales. However, maturing fish can develop a rosy shade along the belly. They’re found on both sides of the northern Pacific Ocean and very commonly spotted in Japan and Russia. They’ll even be seen further south around California.

An adult coho salmon ranges in size from 20 to 28 inches. Mature adults can occasionally weigh up to 36 lb even though the range of 7 – 11 lb is more common. Males are usually slightly bigger than the females.

Coho Salmon20 – 28 inches (51 – 71 cm)7 – 36 lb (3.2 – 16 kg)

Masu Salmon Size

This species and the next one don’t occur in American waters at all and can only be found on the Asian side of the Pacific. It’s called the cherry trout in Japan, even though it’s technically a salmon. This is because it is the most commonly seen of the salmon family in the fresh waters of the Japanese Archipelago.

It has a dark back and stripes on the body. As an adult, it usually measures around 20 inches in length. And it weighs between 4.4 and 5.5 lb. Thus, it’s quite small by salmon standards. However, some individuals can be quite a bit bigger, reaching 20 lb in weight.

Masu Salmon20 – 28 inches (50 – 71 cm)4.4 – 20 lb (2 – 9 kg)

Amago Salmon Size

People can’t agree on whether the amago salmon is a species in itself or a subspecies of the masu salmon. It looks a bit different and has red and black spots all along its body. Found mostly in western Japan, on the Pacific side of the Honshu and Shikoku islands, they’re the least known kind of salmon.

The amago salmon can grow to a length of about 20 inches, although there are some that are only 10 inches in length.

Amago Salmon10 – 20 inches (25 – 50 cm)5.5 lb (2.5 kg)

Atlantic Salmon Size

And finally, there’s the Atlantic salmon, which is the longest living salmon in the world. They can live up to 13 years! It’s the second largest kind of salmon, just behind the chinook. Some of these fish spend their entire lives in freshwater by migrating to landlocked lakes. But others do migrate to the northern Atlantic Ocean.

An adult Atlantic salmon can measure around 28 – 30 inches in length. As far as weight is concerned, the heaviest recorded fish weighed 109 lb. However, more common is 7.9 – 11.9 lb. The longest Atlantic salmon was a total of 63.25 inches.

Atlantic Salmon28 – 63.25 inches (71 – 160.65 cm)7.9 – 109 lb (3.6 – 49.44 kg)


Salmon size varies greatly depending on the species. The Chinook reigns supreme, while the Pink Salmon is a lightweight. Even within a species, there can be significant size variations. This concludes the information regarding the size of salmon. I trust this article has been informative and that you have derived value from it.

What is the biggest type of salmon?

The Chinook Salmon (King Salmon) is the largest, reaching up to 58 inches in length and 130 lbs in weight.

What is the smallest type of salmon?

The Pink Salmon (Humpback Salmon) is the smallest, averaging 14-18 inches long and 4.8 lbs in weight.

How big can an Atlantic Salmon get?

The Atlantic Salmon is the second-largest type, reaching 28-30 inches and 109 lbs (record weight).

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