From this side of the pond, I'd have had no doubt that that's an Atlantic salmon, what with the black bordered fins and all, but it is rather less spotted than the fish I'm used to seeing over here. More and better pictures would help, e.g., of its whole side :thumb:.
Since it's the upper gumline we see best I would bet the lower gumline is dark, the square-ish spots on the back and the fact the fish appears to be in the teens with weight, shouldery in look, I would say chinook!
The tail would be the kicker as well as the smell can you remember a pungent smell after handling, that too would indicate chinook.
Out of hundreds of photos of coho salmon taken this year, none have spots like that, running up onto the head. I think the spots will develop stronger haloes a little later and it will obviously show itself as an Atlantic.
One huge thing for me is the tail shows clearly in the one picture, underwater. That ain't no coho! The strong black trailing edge would be a give away if you can see it and the fact we see a light colored tail cinches it.
I have gotten to fish Atlantics twice in Iceland and remember more spots on the head as typical, but I also remember many with just a few...
Mumbles, no doubt escapes do happen, but something tells me those BC fish were not swimming away singing the old Scott McKenzie song.
Some people get pretty worked up over the potential harm, but my understanding is they have never been any second generation spawning. In fact many places have tried to introduce Atlantics with no success. A bunch were caught in the South Sound, Green and Puyallup after a release in the South Sound about 10 years ago.
Those fish would encounter alot to tempting rivers to swim up before they hit California, and to my knowledge there are not farms south of Washington.