Historic harvest rates likely approached 80% for chum salmon. The commercial landings of these
fish ranged from 1 to 8 million pounds in most years before the 1940s. At 12 pounds per fish this
equates to 83,000 to 666,000 adults.
From the 1960s to the present most chum salmon were caught incidentally to late returning
hatchery coho salmon. Commercial landings have averaged less than 50,000 pounds or 4,000
fish since 1959.
With the ESA listing of other Columbia River salmon and the efforts to rebuild wild coho
populations, the current harvest rates on chum salmon are very low. Current incidental catch of
chum salmon in the lower Columbia River commercial fishery has been less than 100 fish since
Recreational anglers have harvested chum salmon in the past. However, in 1992 Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife closed sport fishing in the Columbia River and its tributaries for
chum salmon. In 1995 WDFW implemented the same regulation. In addition, sanctuaries for
chum salmon have been established in many areas.