But seriously, the recent discovery of this dead fish in Battle Creek in Tehama County was significant enough for the Department of Fish and Game to issue a news release Wednesday afternoon, describing it as "one of the biggest Chinook salmon ever recorded in California."
Biologist Doug Killam made the find while conducting a survey of spawned-out fall-run salmon on lower Battle Creek near the Northern California town of Red Bluff. (Salmon die after they spawn.)
"I have counted tens of thousands of salmon during my career, and this is the biggest I have ever seen," Killam said. "When alive, it could have weighed more than the largest Chinook officially recorded in California, an 88-pound fish caught in the Sacramento River."
Most of the salmon found in these surveys weigh 20 to 30 pounds.
Killam supervises a crew of employees who work year-round monitoring fish populations throughout the Upper Sacramento River Basin. Four distinct runs of salmon are surveyed: winter-, spring-, fall- and late-fall-run Chinook salmon and steelhead.
The winter- and spring-run Chinook salmon and steelhead are listed under the state and federal endangered species acts, making information on their population size vital in recovery efforts and for state and federal water management activities.
"Hopefully, this fish was entirely successful in passing on its superior genetic potential," Killam said. "This is one of the few bright spots this year for one of California's great sport fish, the Chinook salmon."
Photo courtesy Department of Fish and Game