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
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.
on recovery efforts for summer chum salmon, see A
Summer Chum Recovery Plan.
Sound Chum Salmon SASSI
Current Status and Stock Totals
Status of Stocks
|South Puget Sound
|Strait of Juan de
For additional information on Washington
State chum salmon stocks and status and on newly instituted protective
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
"...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
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: