The Chinook was listed threatened on April 22, 1992. Its habitat is designated and people aren't sure whether they are increasing or decreasing in number. Although the number of naturally spawning fish is stable, it is relatively low.
The Chinook is noted for the black spots on its back, dorsal fin, both caudal fin lobes, black pigment along the bases of the teeth, and conical loose teeth in mature individuals. Salmons that are over 31 pounds (14kg) are likely to be Chinooks.