Fish Species Spotlight:Landlocked Chinook King SalmonLandlocked SalmonWhen it’s time to spawn, Salmon make the trek back to the river that they were born in. With the changes made to retain water by building dams, the salmon are not able to make it up the river system to where they need to spawn. California Department of Fish and Wildlife create ladder systems in the rivers, just below a dam, so the salmon can swim up into the fish hatchery for egg and sperm collection, so they can fertilize the eggs, and raise the salmon so that they can be planted back into the river system so they can swim back to the ocean and grow to maturity and repeat the cycle. A portion of the little salmon are planted into lakes throughout California. There are three main types of these landlocked Salmon that are targeted for this unique fishery. Kokanee Salmon, King Salmon, and Coho Salmon. Landlocked King SalmonLandlocked King Salmon, which are Chinook salmon, are not a subspecies of the full-sized saltwater salmon. They are planted in California lakes from the salmon that swam up the river systems, and into the fish hatcheries. Once the goals have been met at the hatcheries for the fish to be released back into the rivers, some of the extra fish from these hatcheries are planted in local lakes to make a nice salmon fishery in the lakes. Since they have no access to the ocean, the fish become landlocked and the lake is their home. It’s possible for landlocked King Salmon to reach double digit weight, but most of them top out at around six pounds. They typically roam around the lake’s open water areas. They typically live for three to four years and then die off naturally. For landlocked King Salmon to get as large as they do, they are meat eaters, typically eating threadfin shad and pond smelt. Most anglers like to troll for King’s with stickbaits that imitate the local minnows that they are accustomed to eating. Spoons, needlefish, and Apex also work well. Another method that works well is to add shad to the lure. I typically soak mine in non-iodized salt to make them stick together better, and sometimes add some color and scent to the mix as well. Another method is to use a shad rolling harness and troll for the King’s. Some people like to drift live minnows, and bass fishermen are known to catch a few kings using rubber worms off of the shorelines in about 25 feet of water. For trolling, I typically find them in the 40-60 feet deep range. One of California’s best producers of big landlocked King salmon, and the best shot at a fish over ten pounds is Lake Shasta. Other great lakes are Folsom Lake, Lake Almanor, Pine Flat Reservoir, Don Pedro Reservoir, Del Valle Reservoir, and Lake Berryessa. The best time of year to fish for King’s are in the spring and fall as the lakes turnover.Record Landlocked Chinook KingSalmonThe record sized landlocked chinook King salmon ever caught in your state can be found at the link below. •State Record Big Fish can be found here.Folsom Lake Landlocked King Salmon plants and other information can be found here. Landlocked Kings Lures - SpoonsLandlocked King Lures - FlatfishSee more fishing tackle in ourFishing Gear and Tackle store.Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Mendenhall Outdoors team. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase.