The variation in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) structure among chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tschawytscha Walbaum populations from Kamchatka was inferred from restriction length polymorphism analysis using eight restriction endonucleases. The nucleotide sequence variation in three amplified mtDNA regions was examined at seven polymorphic restriction sites in 579 fish from 13 localities. Based on the frequencies of 11 combined haplotypes and the number of nucleotide substitutions, the among-and within-population variation was estimated. The heterogeneity test showed highly significant differences among all the populations. The estimated maximum time of independent divergence of the asian chinook salmon populations, whose differences was about 0.02% nucleotide substitutions, did not exceed 10 000–20 000 years. Apparently, the retreat of the late Pleistocene glacier triggered spreading, recolonization, and formation of the present-day pattern of the species subdivision into structural components.