The Chinook is the largest of the Pacific salmon. The largest chinook salmon ever documented, a 126 lb fish, was caught in a fish trap near Petersburg, Alaska, in 1949. Another name for this fish is King Salmon, and these fish truly are the king of salmons. In the ocean, chinook have blueish-green backs and silver sides, with some black spotting on the back, dorsal fin and the tail. Spawning fish in rivers can be bright red and males develop a hooked snout. Although one of the most esteemed Pacific coast sportfish, here in the midwest the Chinook is an exotic. A fall-spawner, it competes with native brook trout and devours their eggs. They were stocked to add variety to the decimated Great Lakes fisheries, and to help control the exotic alewife. Native lake trout stocks were so low that a top predator like the chinook was needed to keep them in check. Now that the native lakers have rebounded (through a wide array of anti-lamprey measures) the big chinooks are very few in number in Lake Superior and contribute very little to the Superior fishery. Chinooks are usually caught by trolling in the lake, but they do ascend rivers to spawn and are available to anglers in the early fall.