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Puget Sound Chum Salmon
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Chum salmon
 gif  RELATED INFORMATION
Summer Chum Salmon Conservation Initiative (SCSCI) Report Series
Recreational Salmon Fishing
SalmonScape
Salmonid Stock Inventory (SaSI)

Status of Puget Sound Chum Salmon Stocks

Salmon and Steelhead Stock Inventory (SASSI)

In 1993, the State and western Washington Treaty Tribes published the first state-wide comprehensive inventory of salmon and steelhead stocks. In total, SASSI identified 435 different stocks of salmon and steelhead, and the current status of each stock was reported. For chum salmon, 72 stocks were described for Washington State, the majority of which were located in the Puget Sound region.

A total of 55 separate stocks of chum salmon were identified in the Puget Sound region (see table below). The general status of these stocks is one of robust health, with a large majority of the stocks (38 total) in the "healthy" category. Thirteen stocks were of "unknown" status because of the lack of abundance data, however, these stocks are typically naturally small populations that represent a small fraction of the region's chum salmon.

The four summer-run stocks in Hood Canal and the Strait of Juan de Fuca were all of either depressed or critical status; a notable exception to the otherwise positive picture for Puget Sound chum salmon.

For information on recovery efforts for summer chum salmon, see A Summer Chum Recovery Plan.

Puget Sound Chum Salmon SASSI
Current Status and Stock Totals

Region Current Status of Stocks
Healthy Depressed Critical Extinct Unknown Total
North Puget Sound 8 0 0 0 4 12
South Puget Sound 18 0 0 1 4 23
Hood Canal 10 0 1 0 1 12
Strait of Juan de Fuca 2 1 1 0 4 8
Totals 38 1 2 1 13 55

For additional information on Washington State chum salmon stocks and status and on newly instituted protective measures see:

NMFS-ESA

In December of 1997, the National Marine Fisheries Service published a coast-wide chum salmon status review. This was the first step in determining if any chum salmon population groups were candidates for listing as "threatened" or "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. For the Puget Sound region two groups of chum salmon populations (Evolutionarily Significant Units - ESU) were identified: the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia ESU, and the Hood Canal Summer-Run ESU.

The Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia ESU includes nearly all of the chum salmon stocks of the Puget Sound region: 51 of the 55 total stocks identified in SASSI. NMFS concluded in the status review that:

"...this ESU is neither presently at risk of extinction nor likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Current abundance is at or near historic levels, with a total run size averaging more than 1 million fish annually in the past 5 years. The majority of populations within this ESU have stable or increasing population trends, and all populations with significantly significant trends are increasing."

The Hood Canal Summer-Run ESU includes four summer run chum salmon SASSI stocks from Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca streams. NMFS concluded that this ESU is in danger of extinction, and further stated that for the summer chum populations in twelve streams in Hood Canal;

"... 5 may already have become extinct, 6 of the remaining 7 showed strong downward trends in abundance, and all were at low levels of abundance. The populations in Discovery Bay and Sequim Bay were also at low levels of abundance with declining trends."

In March of 1999, NMFS formally listed the Hood Canal Summer-Run ESU as a "threatened" population.

For additional information on the NMFS chum salmon species review, or on salmon and the Endangered Species Act see: