Chum Salmon
(AKA dog salmon)
Oncorhynchus keta

Anglers should use three or more distinguishing characteristics to properly identify all salmon.

Marine Phase

  • White tip on the anal fin usually identifies a chum salmon;
  • Resembles sockeye, but larger;
  • Silvery sides and faint grid-like bars as they near spawning streams;
  • Tail base is narrow and there is silver in the tail;
  • Lives three to five years;
  • Weighs about 4.5 kg to 6.5 kg, but they have been known to reach as much as 15 kg.

Each chum salmon you keep must be at least 30 cm long.

Did you know?

Chum salmon develop large “teeth” during spawning, hence the nickname “dog salmon”.

Photo of chum salmon in marine phase

Freshwater phase

  • Maturing chum in freshwater show reddish purple streaks or bars;
  • Large pale blotches on a pale background;
  • White on the tips of pelvic and anal fins;
  • Greenish tinge on their dorsal surface (back);
  • No dark spots on caudal fin.

Drawing of male and female chum salmon in freshwater phase

Close up photo of chum salmon jaw

Chum Jaw

The lips are fleshy with well- developed teeth set in fleshy mandibles; there are no teeth on the base of the tongue.

Close up photo of chum salmon tail

Chum Tail

The tail is slightly forked and has silver streaks covering about half of the fin. The caudal peduncle or wrist is slender.

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