At one time, Chinook were primarily a Big River fish. Adults were 40, 50, 100 pounds because that is what it took to spawn in the big rivers. The smaller streams had a few, probably, but if there wasn't sufficient flow in August/September to get them upstream, they weren't there.

We have fished the stocks down to younger and smaller sizes. A 20 pounder can now rather easily spawn in the small streams like the WB tribs. We have created the small stream Chinook. As I have said before, we are turning the Chinook into a piscivorous chum; now ever creek can have them.

The primary historic Chinook streams were big (Sacramento, San Juoquin, Columbia, Skagit, Fraser, Yukon, etc. ) Cold in summer (snow melt/glaciers) with strong flows. That's where real Chinook lived. The smallest streams had outlier populations and I suspect that streams draining low mountains that were primarily rain driven were not great streams for Chinook.

We now want to change that because we have better uses for the big rivers than fish production.