Chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Category: Fish
Common names: Dog salmon, Calico
Ecosystems: Marine shorelines

Description and Range

Physical description

Male chum salmon develop large "teeth" during spawning, which resemble canine teeth. This many explain the nickname dog salmon.

Chum use small coastal streams and the lower reaches of larger rivers. They often use the same streams as coho, but coho tend to move further up the watershed and chum generally spawn closer to saltwater. This may be due to their larger size, which requires deeper water to swim in, or their jumping ability, which is inferior to coho. Either way, the result is a watershed divided between the two species, with all the niches filled.

Like coho, chum can be found in virtually every small coastal stream. In the fall, large numbers of chum can often be seen in the lower reaches of these streams, providing opportunities to view wild salmon in a natural environment.

Chum fry do not rear in freshwater for more than a few days. Shortly after they emerge, chum fry move downstream to the estuary and rear there for several months before heading out to the open ocean.

Size range
10-15 lbs, up to 33 lbs

State record

25.97 lbs
Johnny Wilson
Satsop River, Grays Harbor County
Date Caught
October 19, 1997

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