Within reason to me the size of the fish doesn't matter. I'd much rather land a 12lb chrome bright fish than a 50lbs dark boot of a fish. That's the main reason I like fishing either on the ocean or close to it. With the exception of the occassional tule most of the fish down here near Warrenton are bright and fresh. The record for the largest chinook in Oregon is 83lbs landed in 1910 on the Umpqua River. The quanity of the fish is also more important to me than size. This year was a banner year for pure numbers over a million chinook. I hope there is somone on here who remembers the June Hogs. I seem to remember that they were a large strain of fish. To date I'm happy with the size of the fish like the one pictured. It is an interesting article thanks for posting it.
The average size of salmon caught by either recreational or commercial fishers has gone down over the years. Turns out that if people keep the largest fish those big boys and girls don't make it back home to make the next generation of big hogs. Plus, the longer those fish stay in the ocean the more chance they'll have of running into a net, so the later age classes are on the decline.
The demise of the Columbia June hogs is horrible and makes me sad. I saw a report from an old timer who said that those elegant fish were coming back up and bumping their noses into Grand Coulee for 6 years after it cut off access to upriver spawning habitat. Crazy that they built that thing without fish passage, but I guess times were different then. I hope we can preserve what still remains.
There is some good news and work being done. The upriver tribes have busy trying to rebuild the runs. I really like what the Umatillas have done on the Umatilla River and now the Confederated Tribes up in Coville Washington are at work too.
Did the Sacremento Chinook have good size to them? I understand their numbers have come up a bit.