Doug Killam, associate fisheries biologist in the state Department of Fish and Game's Red Bluff office, holds up a massive Chinook salmon carcass found on Battle Creek near Anderson. DFG scientists estimate the fish weighed 85 pounds dead, and even more when it was alive. Courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Game.
California Department of Fish and Game biologists were stunned during a salmon survey when they encountered what may be the biggest Chinook Salmon ever found in the state. The department said the salmon measured 51-inches long and was found dead from natural causes in lower Battle Creek near Red Bluff, Calif., last month.
If the fish had been caught live, its length would have beaten the current state angling record for Chinook Salmon.
DFG biologist Doug Killam said that the fish could have weighed more than the 88-pound Chinook salmon caught in the Sacramento River, a record in California.
The biggest Chinook Salmon ever caught anywhere was 126 pounds and was caught in Petersburg, Alaska.
Most of the salmon biologists weighed when they found the giant salmon were between 20 and 30 pounds.