Considering I was just asked weekend before last, by a commercial boat if I had caught any kings.....I think your 99.9999999% might be off a touch. Or, maybe he was the .000000001%.People get hung up on names and correct nomenclature. Although 'chinook' is the recognized official common name, the term 'springs' is used just as commonly for chinook salmon in the ocean and in freshwater, at any time of the year. In fact I dare say it is used much more frequently than Chinook salmon. Point to a fish and ask any commercial fisherman what it is and I guarantee that 99.99999999% of the time they will call it a spring salmon. Ditto for fish processors. Ditto for natives and ditto for almost any fishing report you read.
The term 'spring salmon' was originally derived to identify very early running fish (entering freshwater). If you catch a maturing chinook in saltwater in Jan., is it a chinook or a spring salmon? Either or in my opinion. In systems like the Fraser and its tributaries, 'spring salmon' are for all intents and purposes extinct from a catchability point of view since you can't fish for them before July 1 at the earliest, at which time they magically become 'chinook salmon'.
If we carry the logic of common names further, when do we (or should we) call a Pink salmon a 'humpie'? Only during the spawning phase and for only those male fish exhibiting a pronounced hump? I think not. Same for dog salmon.
There are 'official' common names for fish (for legal purposes) and there are 'accepted' common names as well. Both are just as valid in my opinion and as long as you are referring to the same species, shows no ignorance. Just my 2 cents.
Actually Canadians do use the term, blackmouths, heard it many times before for winter feeder Chinook.
Any Chinook returning to spawn after July is indeed a Chinook and not a Spring, while some will call them "springs" it is a incorrect term, and one we that should be corrected.
It would be nice if we indeed had some Springs left in the Fraser but sadly they are going extinct. DFO with what little funding they have does not have the foresight to see what a huge economic boost major stockings of Spring Chinook could result in. Imagine the area around the Fraser mouth and Vancouver approaches would be like with a major run of Spring Chinook, or the excellent fishery that could be had in the Fraser before freshet.
Fish Farms are more important to DFO however and boy have those been a boost to the economy, of rich Norweigns.