In a packed university conference room, biologist Randy Brown spoke of chinook, the fatty king of far-north salmon. "It's more than just a fish, it's a culture," Brown said to the Fairbanks crowd, many of them Alaska Natives. Brown is the lead author on a paper in which he documented all the known Yukon River chinook salmon spawning beds in the U.S. and Canada. The fish biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and his colleagues spent years reading papers and speaking with people.